People who have consumed certain packages of Western Family brand of ready-to-eat pineapple chunks from Save-On Food stores in Duncan and Sidney should get Hepatitis A immunizations as a precaution, says Island Health. (BC Centre for Disease Control)

Tainted pineapple prompts Hep A warning in Sidney, Duncan

Did you buy Western Family ready-to-eat pineapple cups?

People who have consumed certain packages of Western Family brand of ready-to-eat pineapple chunks from Save-On Food stores in Duncan and Sidney should get Hepatitis A immunizations as a precaution, says Island Health.

While no illnesses have yet to be reported, the virus was detected in a small sample of the product.

“It was one case to each store,” Island Health spokesperson Meribeth Burton said on Friday afternoon. “Six containers in Sidney and six in Duncan. We’re talking about a limited case.”

The pineapple was sold in 198-gram plastic cups at 38 stores across the province likely after Aug. 11 and had a best before date of Aug. 19. Sidney and Duncan are the only two Island stores affected.

All potentially contaminated product has been removed from the shelves, said a press release issued by Island Health on Friday afternoon. No other produce or food items purchased from the grocery department of the stores has been affected.

“The public can be assured that it is safe to purchase and consume produce from the Duncan and Sidney Save-On-Foods stores,” said the Island Health release.

If, however, you are among the people who did buy and consume the pineapple on or after Aug. 18, you should contact your family doctor, arrange for immunization at your local health unit or visit the Save-On-Foods store.

Contact information for Public Health Units can be found on the Island Health website at http://www.viha.ca/locations/health_units/

Those who have already received two doses of the vaccine do not need another vaccination.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s press release about the same topic said the investigation is ongoing.

“Other products are believed to be affected and more information will be provided as it becomes available,” it said.

“Hepatitis A symptoms include yellow skin or eyes, loss of appetite, fever, tiredness, stomach ache, nausea, dark coloured urine, and light or whitish coloured bowel movements. Symptoms can also be so mild that a person may not be aware that they have the disease. Illness can last for several weeks but people generally recover completely. Illness may be life threatening in the elderly or those with other chronic liver disease. Symptoms may develop 15-50 days after exposure.”

For more information on hepatitis A please visit BC Centre for Disease Control or HealthLinkBC.