Hepatitis A outbreak possibly linked to organic strawberries brand

Health officials in the U.S. and Canada are pointing to a brand of organic strawberries as the likely cause of an outbreak of hepatitis A.

The Food and Drug Administration — along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency — said that fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo and HEB could be the cause of 17 cases of hepatitis A and 12 hospitalizations between March 28 and April 30 in the U.S. alone.

Cases have been largely concentrated in California (15 total), but there has been a case each in Minnesota and North Dakota.

The potentially affected products are past their shelf life, but the FDA said that the customers who purchased FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries between March 5 and April 25, and then froze the strawberries to eat them later, should instead throw them away.

FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries were sold at the following stores, though the FDA said that this list isn’t definitive:

  • Aldi
  • HEB
  • Kroger
  • Safeway
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walmart
  • Weis Markets
  • WinCo Foods

Anyone who has eaten the impacted berries in the last two weeks, and has not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, should immediately get in touch with their health care professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed.

If you aren’t sure if you are experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A, you can read more about the disease here.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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