FDA investigating hepatitis A outbreak possibly linked to organic strawberries

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(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A that is possibly linked to two brands of organic strawberries that were sold at several retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

FreshKampo and HEB branded strawberries purchased by consumers between March 5 and April 25 should not be eaten, according to the FDA.

The affected strawberries, which are past their shelf life, were sold at retailers nationwide, including Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Market and WinCo Foods.

Cases of hepatitis A have been reported by consumers in California, Minnesota and Canada, all of whom purchased strawberries before falling ill. At least 17 illnesses and 12 hospitalizations have been recorded so far nationwide, according to the FDA.

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that can ultimately cause liver disease, according to the FDA. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools. Infections typically recover within one to two weeks, though in rare cases, it may become chronic.

Strawberries should be thrown away if you are unsure what brand was purchased, or when and where they were bought, the FDA recommended. Frozen strawberries should also be thrown away.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A after consuming strawberries should contact their health care provider.

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