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FDA Announces Outbreak Investigation of Hepatitis A Potentially Linked to Fresh, Organic Strawberries

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers that the FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Canadian and local public health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A in the United States and Canada potentially linked to fresh, organic strawberries.

The strawberries were sold under the brand name FreshKampo and HEB and were sold between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022. The strawberries were sold at retail locations, including, but not limited to, Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods.

The potentially impacted strawberries are past their shelf life; however, consumers may have purchased the strawberries and frozen them for later use. Consumers should check their freezer to see if they have any strawberries from FreshKampo and/or HEB.

If you have these strawberries in your freezer, do not eat them. Throw them away. If you do not know what brand of strawberries you bought or where you bought them, you should throw the strawberries away. In the last two weeks, if you have eaten fresh, organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB purchased between March 5 and April 25 and are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, call your healthcare provider immediately and ask if you need post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP can prevent hepatitis A if given within 14 days of exposure. Anyone who has already had the hepatitis A vaccination or has had hepatitis A before does not need PEP.

To date, there have been no reported illnesses in Rhode Island associated with this investigation.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, and pale stool. Sometimes, especially in children younger than six, the individual has no symptoms. People with hepatitis A infections usually completely recover within one to two weeks; however, in rare cases, hepatitis A may become chronic. Chronic hepatitis A infection can lead to more severe health problems, including liver failure, and death.

If you have symptoms of hepatitis A and have eaten fresh, organic strawberries in the last two weeks, contact your healthcare provider.

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