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The FDA is investigating a hepatitis A outbreak potentially linked to strawberries

Newly harvested strawberries on October 7, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images
Newly harvested strawberries on October 7, 2020.

The FDA and other agencies are investigating a hepatitis A outbreak in the U.S. and Canada potentially linked to organic fresh strawberries.

The agency says the strawberries were sold under the FreshKampo and HEB brands and purchased between March 5 and April 25.

The FDA is investigating 17 cases — 15 in California and one apiece in Minnesota and North Dakota. Canada's public health agency has identified 10 cases across two provinces: Alberta and Saskatchewan.

HEB and FreshKampo strawberries were sold at a number of retailers, including Trader Joe's, Kroger, Safeway, Aldi, Walmart and HEB, according to the FDA.

"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 said.

In a statement on its website, HEB said that all strawberries sold in its stores are safe. The grocery store chain said Sunday it had "not received or sold organic strawberries from the supplier under investigation since April 16."

The FDA urged those who ate the strawberries it is investigating to consult with their health care providers if they haven't been vaccinated against hepatitis A. Fever, dark urine, jaundice, fatigue and nausea are among the infection's symptoms.

"If consumers purchased fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, they should immediately consult with their health care professional," the FDA said.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rina Torchinsky

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