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FDA: Strawberries sold nationwide linked to hepatitis A cases

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced an investigation into FreshKampo or H-E-B brand organic strawberries for hepatitis A on Saturday.

The FDA said not to eat, serve or sell those brands of strawberries if bought between March 5 and April 25.

“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,” the FDA said.

The strawberries were distributed nationwide, according to the FDA. Known retailers for these products are:

  • Aldi
  • H-E-B
  • Kroger
  • Safeway
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Walmart
  • Weis Markets
  • WinCo Foods

During traceback investigations, the FDA found that, before becoming ill, individuals in California, Minnesota, and Canada purchased fresh organic strawberries as FreshKamp or H-E-B. Fifteen cases of a hepatitis A infection have been reported in California while Minnesota and North Dakota have each reported one case.

Of the 17 related cases, the FDA says 12 have been hospitalized.

Hepatitis A, which typically occurs within 15 to 50 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or beverage, is a contagious virus that can lead to liver disease. Mild cases can last a few weeks while severe cases can last several months, according to the FDA. In individuals with pre-existing health conditions or weakened immune systems, hepatitis A can progress to liver failure and death. In most cases, though, the FDA says individuals typically recover completely within one to two weeks.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, and pale stool. In some cases, especially children under the age of six, individuals may be asymptomatic.

The FDA recommended contacting a 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.

According to the FDA’s website, the investigation is still ongoing.

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