The FDA is currently investigating a hepatitis A outbreak potentially linked to strawberries grown in the U.S. and Canada.
Advertisement

The Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are currently investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A that could be linked to organic strawberries grown in the U.S. and Canada. So far, reports of illness related to this investigation have come from California, Minnesota and Canada, with 17 total reported illnesses—12 of which led to hospitalizations. There have been no deaths reported to date.

The products under investigation are fresh, organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo and HEB that were on store shelves between March 5 and April 25, 2022. These berries were sold under the following labels: Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Weis Markets and WinCo Foods. Though these berries may no longer be in your fridge, they could be in your freezer if you froze the fresh berries at home.

strawberry on designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Creativ Studio Heinemann

Any consumer or food retailer who may have frozen any fresh, organic strawberries purchased from any of these major grocery outlets is encouraged to throw them out immediately. Even if you are unsure of the brand of strawberries you purchased or when you purchased them before freezing, the FDA still advises throwing them out to be on the safe side.

Symptoms of hepatitis A can occur within 15 to 50 days after consuming contaminated food or beverages and include ​​fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool. More severe symptoms are rare but can include liver failure and, in some cases, death. Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if you believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms—or if you may have experienced any in the last two weeks—and also if you think you could have consumed berries sold under the aforementioned brands in recent months.

People who believe they may currently have or previously had an illness related to this outbreak can contact an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator. While there is currently no information surrounding reimbursement for those who purchased the strawberries under investigation, it's worth reaching out to the customer service department of the grocer you purchased them from to explore any available options.