The potentially affected fruit was sold nationwide at at least nine popular grocery chains, including Aldi, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Walmart, the FDA said, adding that strawberries were a “probable cause of illness in this outbreak.”
“Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have symptoms of hepatitis A after eating these fresh organic strawberries, or if you think you have eaten these strawberries in the past two weeks,” the statement read.
Of the 17 reported cases, at least 15 are listed in California, the FDA said. At least 12 people have been hospitalized with the highly contagious virus that can cause fever, nausea, stomach pain and fatigue.
Those who reported infections in California, Minnesota, and Canada said they bought berries labeled FreshKampo or HEB before they got sick.
It was not immediately clear how the strawberry became infected. Hepatitis A is most commonly transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water but can also spread from person to person, according to information shared by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease can last for several weeks and, in rare cases, can cause liver failure and death — although this is more common in people with liver disease or those over 50, says the CDC.
The US Food and Drug Administration said an investigation into the case of infected strawberries is ongoing and that more products may be included as part of the advisory. FreshKampo and HEB Grocery Co., Ltd. were not immediately available. , based in Texas, for comment early Monday.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, shellfish, raw vegetables, and fruits are among the foodstuffs often cited as potential sources of hepatitis A in the United States. It is recommended that you wash your hands frequently disease risk.
Products can become contaminated with hepatitis A if they are handled by someone who has the infection and does not wash their hands properly, according to Britain’s National Health Service. Washing food items in dirty water can also lead to infection.
Fruit from FreshKampo is also sold in the Middle East and Europe, according to the company’s website.
HEB, in a statement on its website announcing the recall, said it has not received or sold organic strawberries from the supplier under investigation since April 16 — but that anyone who purchased organic strawberries during the FDA review period should either throw them away or return them. to the place of purchase.
“All strawberries sold in HEB are safe,” the statement said, noting that “no strawberry diseases related to the FDA’s investigation of HEB or in Texas have been reported.”
The United States has at least 37 countries registered More than 44,000 cases of hepatitis A have been infected since 2016, resulting in at least 420 deaths. Previous outbreaks have been linked to products like Raw scallops.