FDA investigating organic strawberries possibly linked to Hepatitis A outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a “multistate outbreak” of hepatitis A linked to two brands of organic strawberries with 17 reported cases nationwide, including 15 in California.

Fresh organic strawberries under the FreshKampo or HEB brand labels are the likely cause of the outbreak, according to investigations showing that patients in California, Minnesota and Canada reported buying FreshKampo or HEB strawberries before becoming ill. Canadian authorities reported 10 cases in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Recorded illnesses range from March 28 through April 30, and the affected strawberries would have been sold between March 5 and April 25, the FDA said. Twelve hospitalizations have been reported in the U.S., according to the FDA.

The outbreak is also being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Hepatitis A symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool. Typically, people infected with hepatitis A recover within two weeks, but in rare cases the infection may become chronic, which can lead to more serious health problems, including liver failure and death, according to the FDA.

Earlier this month, the FDA recalled Jif peanut butter products produced at the J.M. Smucker Co. facility in Lexington, Ky., due to potential salmonella contamination. That recall now extends to candy and other products made with peanut butter from the Jif makers.



Leave a Reply