Food Recall Affects EUSD

November 1, 2019

On October 31, the Escondido Union School District was notified by public health authorities that a frozen raspberry product used to make yogurt parfaits in EUSD school cafeterias has been recalled by the manufacturer due to possible contamination with the hepatitis A virus.

The manufacturer’s nationwide voluntary recall was prompted by testing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To date, there have been no illnesses associated with this product. The district is working in collaboration with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, and have developed this letter to make you aware of the recall, and to provide additional information about hepatitis A, including actions that can be taken to prevent illness.

Yogurt parfaits made with the raspberries were potentially served in our school cafeterias from September 5, 2019, through October 31, 2019. The frozen raspberries have been removed and are not available for anyone to eat. Individuals who did not eat the yogurt parfaits have no risk of exposure. Individuals who ate the yogurt parfaits between these dates may have been exposed to hepatitis A and the actions that should be taken depend on the vaccination status and illness history of the individual:

For an individual who has had the two recommended hepatitis A vaccinations, the risk of getting sick is extremely low, but individuals should watch for symptoms for up to seven weeks after the last exposure (see below).

For an individual who has had one or none of the recommended hepatitis A vaccinations, the risk of getting sick can be lowered significantly by getting a dose of vaccine as soon as possible and within two weeks of the last exposure. The vaccine is available through your healthcare provider and at County Public Health Centers (at no cost), which may be found here: http://www.sdiz.org/documents/IZ-clinics/iz9es-latest.pdf. Individuals should also watch for symptoms for up to seven weeks after the last exposure.

For an individual who has already had hepatitis A, there is no risk, and no actions are needed.

If you are unsure of your child’s vaccination status or if your child has not received the vaccine or has only had one dose, consult your healthcare provider. Hepatitis A vaccine is a routinely recommended childhood vaccine, but it is not required for school entrance in California. Children usually receive the first hepatitis A vaccine dose at 12 to 23 months of age and the second dose 6 months later.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

The signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A usually start 28 days after exposure, although they may occur 15 to 50 days after exposure. Children under 6 years of age show few signs and symptoms.

Please continue to remind your children to wash their hands thoroughly, especially before handling food. Proper hand washing involves cleaning the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers, and under fingernails. Hands should then be thoroughly rinsed with running water.

If an individual experiences hepatitis A symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider and inform them of this letter. If you or your healthcare provider has any questions, please call the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency Immunizations Program during normal working hours at (866) 358-2966.  You can also learn more about hepatitis A at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hepatitis A website at https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm.

The recall notice may be found at https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/wawona-frozen-food-voluntarily-recalls-frozen-raspberries-due-possible-health-risk

Thank you as always for your support in ensuring the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff, and families.