According to federal food officials, packages of FreshKampo and HEB brand strawberries are likely linked to more than a dozen recent instances of hepatitis A in California.
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the United States and Canada that may be linked to fresh, organic strawberries with the FreshKampo or HEB labels purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and state and local partners.
“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,” the FDA stated in a warning note.
According to regulators, the strawberries were also sold at HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers, Trader Joe’s, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods. Since the strawberries hit store shelves, the FDA has received reports of 17 hepatitis A infections in the United States, with a dozen people being hospitalised. The majority of the cases have been recorded in California, although one case has been documented in both Minnesota and North Dakota, according to the FDA.
According to The Associated Press, ten instances of hepatitis A and four hospitalizations have been linked to strawberries in Canada.
According to the agency, no deaths have been reported. The strawberries under scrutiny “are a likely cause of illness in this outbreak,” according to the report. Other items could be related to hepatitis cases as the FDA investigation continues.
Since April 16, HEB has not received or sold the strawberries under investigation. Customers who bought organic strawberries between March 5 and April 25 should throw them away, according to the Texas-based retailer.
“No illnesses from strawberries related to the FDA investigation have been reported at HEB or in Texas,” the business stated in a statement on Sunday.
FreshKampo is a fruit and vegetable farmer and distributor based in Mexico. On Monday, the company could not be reached for comment.
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver and causes it to grow and malfunction. It is contagious but treatable. The virus is usually spread by contaminated food or drink.
According to the FDA, anyone who has consumed the dangerous strawberries should contact a doctor right away and inquire about a hepatitis vaccine.