Fresh Strawberries May Be Linked to a Nationwide Hepatitis A Outbreak

Double check any packages you have on hand! The affected berries were sold in stores including but not limited to Aldi, Kroger, Trader Joe's, and Walmart.

Strawberry Recall
Photo: Allrecipes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries. The contaminated strawberries were sold between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022. They are not recalled because they're no longer available for purchase.

Even though the strawberries are past their shelf life, the FDA is concerned about people who may have frozen their strawberries for later use. The impacted brands include FreshKampo and HEB and they were sold nationwide at Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods.

If you have these strawberries either fresh or frozen, you should throw them away immediately. Additionally, if you have any frozen strawberries but don't remember the brand, remember when you purchased them, or remember where you purchased them, you should also throw them away immediately.

There have been 17 reported cases of hepatitis A in the U.S. — including in California, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that is most commonly spread through contaminated food or contact with a person that's infected. Illnesses can occur within 15 to 50 days after eating the contaminated food. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, or pale stool. Hepatitis A typically disappears within a few weeks, but in rare cases, it may become chronic, which can cause relapse infections of hepatitis A.

The easiest way to reduce the risk of infection is to get the hepatitis A vaccination, according to the CDC.

If you have any symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Additionally, if you have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and have eaten these strawberries in the past two weeks, you should contact your healthcare provider to determine if you need post exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Read on for more coverage: Food Recalls & Public Health Alerts

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