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Hepatitis outbreak investigated over possible link to strawberries

Canadian and US food regulators are looking into a hepatitis A epidemic that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries.

The fruit were sold under the brands FreshKampo, H-E-B.

Between 5 March and 25 April, the produce was sold at various US retailers, including Aldi Kroger, Safeway Walmart, Safeway, Safeway, Walmart, and Trader Joe’s.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, 17 people have fallen ill in the US – 15 in California and 1 each in Minnesota and North Dakota.


Twelve of the people who fell ill were admitted to hospital.

The strawberries were purchased in Alberta and Saskatchewan between 5 and 9 March in Canada.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada, there have been ten cases and four hospitalisations in each province.

More information about Canada

FreshKampo, a Mexican company that grew strawberries, stated it is working with regulators in order to find the cause.

How can strawberries become contaminated by hepatitis A.

According to Live Science, Berries can be a vector for viruses as they are delicate and cannot be picked by hand.

The faecal/oral route is the most common way to transmit the virus. This means that someone infected by the virus may ingest contaminated faces.

Workers who don’t wash their hands properly after going to the toilet could transmit the virus to the fruit.

It is more likely in areas where hepatitis is A is more prevalent.

A third way strawberries could be contaminated is when the water used for irrigation has been contaminated by raw sewage. This can also carry the virus.

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Because of the many places where viruses can hide, it may be difficult to get rid of them quickly.

FreshKampo stated that strawberries potentially affected by the virus had labels that said “Product from Mexico” or “Distributed By Meridien Foods”.

H-E-B, Texas’ largest supermarket chain, stated that it has not received any or sold organise strawberry from the supplier since April 16th.

According to the retailer, anyone with strawberries left over should either throw them away or return them back to the place where they were purchased.

Tips for consumers

Hepatitis A can lead to liver disease, and in rare cases, even death.

After drinking or eating contaminated water or food, people can get sick for up to 50 days.

You may experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting as well as abdominal pain, jaundice, and abdominal pain.

According to the FDA, consumers who have not received hepatitis A vaccinations and consumed potentially affected berries within the past two weeks should consult a doctor immediately.

The strawberries were not on sale for long so it was a good idea to check if they have been frozen.


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