WinCo Foods LLC is recalling frozen blackberries and berry medley products manufactured by Washington-based Rader Farms because both products have the potential to be contaminated with norovirus. According to a news alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), WinCo Foods has removed the recalled products from store shelves. The products were distributed to WinCo Foods stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Utah.
The recall includes Blackberries in a 16 oz. and frozen Berry Medley in 16 oz. and 32 oz. bags. So far, no customer illnesses have been reported. The recall comes after a sample of the product that was tested by the FDA was found contaminated with norovirus. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to discard them or return to the stores for a full refund. For more information, call WinCo Foods at 1-800-824-1706.
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus, which causes gastroenteritis or inflammation of the stomach and intestines. This leads to diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Norovirus illness is often called by other names such as food poisoning and stomach flu. Some of the common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Noroviruses can cause food poisoning. Even though they share some of the same symptoms, norovirus illness is not related to the flu.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, norovirus causes 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S. There are many types of norovirus and you can get it more than once. Norovirus illnesses can be serious. It can make you extremely sick and cause dehydration. Some people, especially the young, the elderly and people whose immune systems are compromised, may become severely dehydrated. Each year, norovirus causes 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly in young children and the elderly.
How Can We Prevent Norovirus?
Here are a few tips to help prevent this infection:
- Practice proper hand hygiene by washing your hands carefully with soap and water. It is particularly important to do so after using the bathroom and before eating, preparing or handling food.
- Wash fruits and vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly. Noroviruses can survive temperatures as high as 140°F.
- Do not prepare food for others when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces.
- Wash laundry thoroughly. Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items.
If you have suffered symptoms of food poisoning, please get prompt medical attention and report your illness to the local health care agency. Contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who can help protect your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.