Fresh organic strawberries likely spread hepatitis A in U.S. and Canada


The FDA, along with CDC, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, state, and local partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the United States and Canada potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo and HEB, purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022.

Currently, the potentially affected FreshKampo and HEB products are past shelf life. People who purchased FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them. These products were sold at the following retailers, including, but not limited to:

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

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.

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that fresh organic strawberries sold as FreshKampo and HEB brands that were purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, are a likely cause of illness in this outbreak. The traceback investigations show that cases in California, Minnesota, and Canada report having purchased fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB prior to becoming ill. Illness onset dates range from March 28  to April 30, 2022.

As this investigation is ongoing, additional products may be included. More information will be provided in this advisory as it becomes available.

Recommendation

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. People who purchased the fresh strawberries and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them. They should be thrown away. Currently, the potentially affected product is past its shelf life. 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.

If consumers purchased fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, they should immediately consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed. PEP is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus in the last two weeks because vaccination can prevent a hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of exposure. Those with evidence of previous hepatitis A vaccination or previous hepatitis A infection does not require PEP.

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have symptoms of a hepatitis A infection after eating these fresh organic strawberries, or if you believe that you have eaten these strawberries in the last two weeks.

Read the full update

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