Public health officials say they are investigating outbreaks of hepatitis A in the United States and Canada, possibly linked to organic strawberries.
U.S. health officials said the outbreak probably came from fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshCampo and HEB, which were purchased between March 5 and April 25.
The Food and Drug Administration said strawberries were sold in stores including Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Jose, Walmart and Weiss Market.
Strawberries are now out of their shelf life, and those who bought them between March 5 and April 25 should discard them, even if they freeze to eat later, health officials say.
In the United States, the FDA says it has identified 17 cases of hepatitis A associated with strawberries – 15 in California and one each in Minnesota and North Dakota. According to the agency, 12 people have been admitted to the hospital.
In Canada, health officials say they have confirmed 10 cases – four in Alberta and six in Saskatchewan. He has been admitted to four hospitals in the country.
No deaths have been reported in the United States or Canada, according to officials in both countries.
Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that can cause liver disease. The FDA has stated that infections can occur when food is eaten after being handled by a person who does not follow proper hygiene.
Symptoms usually develop 15 to 20 days after eating contaminated food and may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, thick urine, and pale stools, the FDA said.
Those who believe they may be infected or have eaten stinking strawberries in the past two weeks should talk to their healthcare provider, the FDA said.
In a statement, HEB, based in Texas, said it had not received or sold organic strawberries from the supplier under investigation since April 16.
“All strawberries sold on HEB are safe,” the company said No illnesses have been reported from HEB or Texas from strawberries related to the FDA investigation. “
Freshcampo says it is no longer shipping fresh organic strawberries associated with the outbreak. Those sold between March 5 and April 25 came in a plastic clamshell package with a label that read, “Distributed by Meridian Fruit,” the company said in a statement.
The statement said, “FreshCampo wants consumers to know that it will continue to work with health officials and supply chain partners to determine where problems may occur in the supply chain and will take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening again.”