Potential link between strawberries and U.S./Canada Hepatitis A outbreak
U.S. and Canadian authorities are investigating a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A infections that is potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries.
According to a statement by the FDA, epidemiologic and traceback data show that fresh organic strawberries sold as FreshKampo and HEB brands that were purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022 in the U.S. and Canada, are a likely cause of illness in this outbreak.
In the U.S. there have been 17 cases of hepatitis A, with 12 hospitalizations. In California, Minnesota, and Canada, cases report having purchased these particular strawberries prior to becoming ill, with illness onset dates ranging from March 28 – April 30, 2022.
The strawberries were sold at the following retailers: Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Marker, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Markets, WinCo Foods, amongst others.
Consumers, restaurants and retailers are being warned not to eat, serve or sell fresh or frozen strawberries from the potentially affected brands purchased between March 5, 2022 and April 25, 2022.
In addition, experts advise that if consumers are unsure about their strawberries’ brand, retailer or the date of their purchase, they should also throw them away.
Furthermore, people should contact their healthcare provider if they think they may have symptoms of a hepatitis A infection after eating these strawberries, or if they have eaten them in the last two weeks and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A.