Packages of FreshKampo and HEB brand strawberries are likely linked to more than a dozen recent cases of hepatitis A in California, federal food regulators have said.
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, joined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and state and local partners, are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis infections Has in several states in the United States and
Canada is potentially tied to fresh organic strawberries bearing the FreshKampo or HEB labels and purchased between March 5, 2022 and April 25, 2022.
“If you don’t know what brand you bought, when you bought your strawberries, or where you bought them from before freezing them, the strawberries should be discarded,” the FDA said in a warning.
The strawberries were also sold at HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers, Trader Joe’s, Weis Markets and WinCo Foods, according to regulators. The FDA has received reports of 17 cases of hepatitis A in the United States since the strawberries hit stores, and a dozen people have been hospitalized. Most cases have occurred in California, but the FDA has also reported a case in Minnesota and North Dakota.
In Canada, 10 cases of hepatitis A and four hospitalizations have been reported linked to strawberries, according to the Associated Press.
No deaths have been reported, according to the agency. He said the strawberries under investigation “are a probable cause of illness in this outbreak.” The FDA investigation is ongoing, so other products may be linked to cases of hepatitis.
HEB said it had not received or sold the strawberries under investigation since April 16. The Texas-based grocer maintained its strawberries were safe, but said customers should discard all organic strawberries purchased between March 5 and April 25.
“No strawberry illnesses related to the FDA investigation have been reported in HEB or Texas,” the company said in a statement Sunday.
FreshKampo is a fruit and vegetable producer and distributor based in Mexico. The company could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Hepatitis A is a contagious but treatable virus that infects the liver, causing it to swell and malfunction. Most people catch the virus from contaminated food or water.
Anyone who has ever eaten harmful strawberries should immediately seek medical attention and inquire about a hepatitis vaccine, the FDA said.
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