The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a potential link between fresh organic strawberries and Hepatitis A infections in many states across the United States and in Canada. The strawberries were sold at popular chains like Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is being investigated?
According to the FDA notice, there’s a possible link between organic strawberries and what could be hepatitis A in several states. The potentially affected strawberries were labeled as FreshKampo or H-E-B strawberries.
While they are currently past shelf life and have likely already been eaten or thrown away, the FDA is urging people to check their freezers.
The FDA statement outlines that the affected strawberries may be causing hepatitis A, a liver infection that’s caused by the hepatitis virus. The connection between illness and the strawberries hasn’t been fully established at this time as the FDA continues its investigation, though the agency said in its release that they are “likely cause of illness.”
Currently, there have been several outbreaks of hepatitis A. This includes 15 cases in California, one in Minnesota, and one in North Dakota. In addition, infections have also been reported in Canada. The outbreak has caused 12 hospitalizations, but no deaths have been reported at this time.
What to do if you bought the affected strawberries?
“Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not sell, serve, or eat any fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB if purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022,” the agency notice reads.
The FDA stresses that any of the outlined strawberries should be thrown out. “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.”
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A?
The FDA notes that symptoms related to hepatitis A typically occur within 15 to 50 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, jaundice, dark urine, abdominal pain, and pale urine. Children under the age of six infected with hepatitis may show no symptoms.
Recovery typically takes one to two weeks, however, the agency warns that in “rare cases hepatitis A may become chronic, causing relapsing infection. Chronic hepatitis A infection can lead to more severe health problems, including liver failure, and death.”
Anyone worried about symptoms should get in touch with their care provider.