FDA, CDC Say Hepatitis Outbreak Could be Related to Strawberries
The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control have issued a warning about a recent Hepatitis outbreak.
According to the US FDA's website, a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A could be linked to organic strawberries that were sold through several retailers.
As of this post, there have been 17 infections reported, with 12 of those requiring hospitalization.
According to the website, the FDA is working with the CDC and their Canadian counterparts and local agencies to investigate the outbreak.
The strawberries in question were markets under the brand names "FreshKampo" and "HEB", and were on store shelves between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022. The berries were labeled as "organic".
The suspect berries were sold at grocers and retailers nationally, including the following outlets:
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- Trader Joe’s
- Weis Markets
- WinCo Foods
The FDA and CDC mention that there may be other outlets from which the suspect strawberries were sold.
Officials are urging anyone who may have purchased the strawberries marketed under the brands FreshKampo or HEB and later froze those products to NOT eat them.
If you are unsure of what brand you purchased, when you purchased your strawberries, or where you purchased them from prior to freezing them, the strawberries should be thrown away. - FDA
The cases, as of now, have only been confirmed in California, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Canada.
If consumers purchased fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, they should immediately consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed. - FDA
The Food and Drug Administration explains that the PEP is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to Hepatitis A within the last two weeks. They say that the vaccination can prevent infection if given within 14 days of exposure.
If you have consumed strawberries that were purchased within the timeframe mentioned above, you need to watch for symptoms of Hepatitis A:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Pale stool
Symptoms in some people, particularly in children under the age of 6, may be very mild or even non-existent.
If you have eaten suspect strawberries and develop any of the symptoms, contact your physician.