US-Canadian regulators tie hepatitis to strawberries

Illnesses occurred after people consumed FreshKampo and H-E-B brand strawberries

DEE-ANN DURBIN, Associated Press

U.S. and Canadian regulators are investigating a hepatitis outbreak that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries.

In a joint weekend statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Public Health Agency of Canada said illnesses in Minnesota, California and Canada occurred after people consumed FreshKampo and H-E-B brand strawberries.

The agencies said the strawberries were purchased between March 5 and April 25. They were sold at various U.S. retailers, including Aldi, Kroger, Safeway, Walmart and Trader Joe’s. The potentially affected strawberries are past their shelf life, but health officials say consumers who purchased them and froze them to eat later should throw them away.

The FDA has reported 17 illnesses and 12 hospitalizations in the U.S. 

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver disease and, in rare cases, liver failure and death. Consumers who ate the potentially affected berries in the last two weeks and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A should immediately consult with a physician, the FDA said.

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