FDA Warns Against Consumption of Organic Strawberries After Outbreak of Hep A
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada and other partners, issued an advisory on May 28 that there has been a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the U.S. and Canada that have been linked to the consumption of fresh, organic strawberries.
Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver disease and can range in severity from mild to severe illness lasting several months.
The FDA advisory warns that anyone who has purchased strawberry products from March 5 to April 25 from FreshKampo and HEB brands should not eat them as they could cause hepatitis A. The strawberries are frequently sold at major chain grocery stores like Safeway, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Aldi.
An outbreak of hepatitis A cases due to strawberry consumption has been identified so far in 17 individuals in the U.S., with 12 of those cases requiring hospitalization, based on data recorded from March 28 to April 30.
Of the known outbreaks, 15 cases were recorded in California, one in Minnesota, and one in North Dakota. The last known date of illness was recorded on April 30.
The FDA recommends visiting a health care professional to determine if prophylaxis is needed for any individual who purchased fresh organic strawberries and has already eaten those berries in the last two weeks, and for those who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A.
According to the FDA, prophylaxis can prevent a hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of exposure.
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