May 29, 2022 - Health

FDA investigating hepatitis A outbreak linked to strawberries

Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a Hepatitis A outbreak in the U.S. and Canada linked to strawberries sold at Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joe's and other major grocery stores.

Driving the news: There have been 17 cases of Hepatitis A and 12 hospitalizations linked to the strawberries in the U.S., the FDA said. Fifteen of the cases came from California, while the other two came from Minnesota and North Dakota.

  • The FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Canadian health agencies, is investigating fresh organic strawberries from the brands FreshKampo and HEB that were purchased between March 5 and April 25.
  • While the items are past their shelf life at this point, the FDA said people who purchased the strawberries between March 5 and April 25 and froze them for later should not eat them.

Background: Hepatitis A, a contagious virus that can cause liver disease, often comes from eating or drinking contaminated food or water, according to the FDA. It can also be spread through close contact with someone who is infected.

  • Typically, people with Hepatitis A infections recover within one to two weeks, although it can become chronic in rare cases.
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