U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into an outbreak of hepatitis A potentially linked to fresh strawberries


The strawberries are branded FreshKampo and HEB and were purchased between March 5 and April 25, the Food and Drug Administration said with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, state and local partners.

It is distributed nationwide and sold at a number of retailers including Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Markets and WinCo Foods.

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The FDA said potentially infected strawberries are now past their shelf life, but people who have frozen them for later use should not eat them.

The FDA warned that “if you are not sure what brand you bought, when you bought your strawberries, or where you bought them before they were frozen, strawberries should be discarded.”

The FDA said 17 cases of hepatitis were identified in California, Minnesota and North Dakota, resulting in 12 hospitalizations. Tracking investigations show that cases in California, Minnesota and Canada have reported strawberry purchases. More products may be included as investigation continues. People became ill between March 28 and April 30.

The FDA also recommends that anyone who has bought and eaten strawberries in the past two weeks and has not been vaccinated against hepatitis A consult with a health care professional to determine if post-exposure prophylaxis is needed. Anyone who thinks they may develop symptoms after eating strawberries should contact their health care provider.

according to Center for Disease ControlSymptoms of hepatitis A usually appear two to seven weeks after infection and usually last less than two months. Not everyone has symptoms, and some people can be sick for up to six months.

Symptoms can include yellowing of the skin or eyes, not wanting to eat, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, dark urine or light-colored stools, diarrhea, joint pain and feeling tired.

Adults are more likely than children to develop symptoms if they are infected.