July 2, 2022

Strawberry Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens 17, Hospitalizes 12

A potential strawberry hepatitis A outbreak has sickened at least 17 people in three states and has hospitalized 12 of those patients, according to the FDA. That is a very high hospitalization rate. The berries are FreshKampo and HEB brands. The berries are past their shelf life and are no longer available in stores, but some consumers probably froze some for later consumption. Freezing does not kill the hepatitis A virus.

Strawberry Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens 17, Hospitalizes 12

The case count by state is: California (15), Minnesota (1), and North Dakota (1). The berries were sold nationwide. Illness onset dates range from March 28, 2022 to April 30, 2022. But because it can take up to 50 days for hepatitis symptoms to appear and because some people may have preserved the berries, more cases may be diagnosed. We do not yet know the patient age range for this outbreak.

The berries were for sale between March 5, 2022 and April 25, 2022 nationwide, in the United States and in Canada. They were sold at these retailers and may have been sold at more locations:

Aldi

HEB

Kroger

Safeway

Sprouts Farmers Market

Trader Joe’s

Walmart

Weis Markets

WinCo Foods

If you aren’t sure whether or not you purchased these berries and froze some in that time frame, throw them away. The strawberries were labeled organic.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence show that fresh organic strawberries, sold as FreshKampo and HEB brands, that were purchased during that period are a likely cause of illnesses in this outbreak. Patients said they bought those berries in that time frame.

If you did eat these berries within the last two weeks and you have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, get a vaccine as soon as possible. Contact your doctor to ask about your vaccination status. If you ate the berries more than two weeks ago, monitor your health for the symptoms of hepatitis A, since the vaccine is effective only when given within that time frame.

If you have symptoms of hepatitis A, see your doctor. You may be part of this strawberry hepatitis A outbreak. Those symptoms include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, especially in the upper right quadrant, dark urine, clay-colored stools, a low grade fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, intense itching, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a hepatitis A infection after eating HEB or FreshKampo organic strawberries, please contact our experienced attorneys at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores and food processors.

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