Strawberries Recalled Over Hepatitis Outbreak

An FDA investigation into an outbreak of Hepatitis A has them looking at strawberries sold at grocery stores nationwide. A recall and investigation share a critical warning and focus on a pair of organic strawberry brands sold in stores between March and April.

As it stands, those products are well past their shelf life, but the FDA is still making sure that those who froze or stored their strawberries for later use don't consume them. FreshKampo strawberries and HEB strawberries are the brands affected by the FDA warning and investigation, sold at Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods.

"If you are unsure of what brand you purchased, when you purchased your strawberries, or where you purchased them from prior to freezing them, the strawberries should be thrown away," the FDA release says. Hepatitis A is vaccine-preventable, according to USA Today, and is contagious. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain and jaundice, lasting upwards of two months. It rarely results in death, but the FDA said it can result in liver failure and death.

According to USA Today, there have been 17 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A connected to the outbreak, 12 that led to hospital stays. Fifteen of the cases are in California, another in Minnesota, and another in North Dakota. If someone has been feeling ill within the timeframe or after consuming the strawberries, they should seek a medical professional immediately. If they have been vaccinated against Hepatitis A, they should be fine with milder symptoms. The last reported illness started on April 30.

The FDA notes that its investigation is ongoing and more products could be added. Similar has befallen Jif peanut butter in recent weeks, with all of the peanut butter removed from shelves due to a salmonella outbreak. Later in the week this spread to dozens of more products that use Jif peanut butter in recipes.

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Don't take a risk with these strawberries if you believe you've purchased them or consumed them in recent weeks. Also, keep an eye on the FDA website due to the possibility of the investigation expanding.