"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 warning notice.
Per NPR, the US Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Canadian health authorities are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in several US states, and Canada that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries purchased between March 5 and April 25 from the FreshKampo and HEB brands.
Seventeen cases are being investigated in the United States, with 15 in California and one each in Minnesota and North Dakota, while ten cases have been identified in Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada.
The following are some of the stores that may have sold potentially contaminated strawberries:
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- Trader Joe's
- Weis Markets
- WinCo Foods
HEB said all strawberries sold in its stores are safe, according to a statement on its website. We have "not received or sold organic strawberries from the supplier under investigation since April 16," the grocery store chain said.
Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver and causes it to swell and malfunction. It is contagious but treatable. The virus is usually spread through contaminated food or water.
According to the FDA, anyone who purchased the brands' strawberries during the above time period, ate them, and is not hepatitis A-vaccinated should contact their healthcare provider.
Anyone who bought any of these brands between the dates listed above should throw them away, even if they were frozen.
More information about additional contaminated products may become available as the investigation continues.