Hepatitis A vaccine for consumers of Western Family cut pineapple chunks.

Patients may present to you having consumed Western Family ready-to-eat cut pineapple sold at Save-On-Foods stores with best before dates of August 19, 2017.  Save-On-Foods has sent out e-mail communication directly to customers that used their points card during the purchase of this product indicating they may be exposed to Hepatitis A.  This communication instructs the customer to seek medical attention if they consumed this product.

Hepatitis A vaccine can protect against infection if received within 14 days of eating contaminated products.  Patients do NOT need a dose of vaccine if: they have had Hepatitis A infection in the past, they have already had two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, OR they had a dose of Hepatitis A vaccine in the past month.

As of September 1, those who consumed product on August 18th or later would be eligible for publicly funded Hepatitis A Vaccine.

If vaccination is required today, please contact your local Public Health Unit (open until 4:30 pm) to make arrangements. 

Public Health is holding drop in clinics on Saturday Sept 2nd from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm at the following locations:

  • Burnaby Public Health Unit:  300-4946 Canada Way, Burnaby, BC

  • Abbotsford Public Health Unit:  104-34194 Marshall Road, Abbotsford,  BC

  • Cloverdale Public Health Unit:  205-17700 56 Avenue, Surrey (Cloverdale) BC

Symptoms may develop 15-50 days (usually 28 days) after exposure to the virus, and as the potential exposure occurred recently, patients may not have any symptoms at this time as they would be early in the incubation period. No specific action is needed if a patient is not showing symptoms and is outside of the vaccine eligibility period of having consumed within 14 days, but the individual should be instructed that if they develop symptoms they should exclude themselves if they work in a high risk occupation (e.g. food handler/health care worker/child care provider) and immediately seek medical attention. 

Hepatitis A is a potentially serious viral disease of the liver.  Diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice (yellowing of the skin) are the most common symptoms.  Some people, especially younger persons, may be asymptomatic. Symptoms usually clear after few weeks, but in rare cases, the infection can lead to liver failure.  The Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool or vomit of infected persons. People with Hepatitis A infection can pass the virus on to others through hand-to-mouth contact, food preparation, sharing contaminated food, and anal-oral sexual activity. 

More information about the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A and how it is spread can be found on the attached Hepatitis A HealthLinkBC file

If a patient exhibits symptoms of acute Hepatitis A:

  1. Please report clinical cases to Fraser Health’s CD Intake Line at 1-866-990-9941 and choose option #2
  2. Consider laboratory testing to confirm acute Hepatitis A (with HAV IgM)

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