May 28, 2023

Strawberry Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to Seven Sick

The strawberry hepatitis A outbreak has grown to include two more patients from California, for a total of seven sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Several recalls of organic frozen strawberries have been issued in connection with this outbreak.

Strawberry Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to Seven Sick

The case count by state is: California (2) and Washington (5). Illness onset dates range from November 24, 2022 yo March 26, 2023. The patient age range is from 38 to 64 years. Of seven people who gave information about their illness to investigators, two, or 29%, have been hospitalized.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicates that frozen organic strawberries that were imported fresh from farms in Baja California, Mexico in 2022 are the likely source of this outbreak. Furthermore, the virus strain that is making people sick is genetically identical to the strain that caused a hepatitis A outbreak in 2022 that was linked to fresh organic strawberries also imported from Baja California. In that outbreak at least 19 people in four states were sickened, and 13 of those patients were hospitalized.

In interviews, patients answered questions about the foods they ate in the weeks before they got sick. In this outbreak, all said they ate frozen organic strawberries.

Three recalls have been issued. California Splendor recalled some lots of four pound bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, California; Hawaii; and two stores in San Diego, California.

Scenic Fruit Company recalled frozen organic strawberries that were sold to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in certain states. Meijer also recalled Made-With brand frozen organic strawberries sold from certain locations.

If you have eaten any of these recalled frozen organic strawberries and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated. The vaccine is effective when given within two weeks of exposure.

Symptoms of a hepatitis an infection can take up to 50 days to appear. Most people suffer from yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), loss of appetite, upset stomach, stomach pain, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, vomiting, fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, joint pain, diarrhea, and feeling tired. Most people recover, but some, especially those who have liver disease or other preexisting conditions, may become seriously ill. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this strawberry hepatitis A outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

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

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