U.S – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections linked to strawberries.
The traceback investigations show that cases in California, Minnesota and Canada report having purchased fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB prior to becoming ill.
“Currently, the potentially affected FreshKampo and HEB products are past shelf life. People who purchased FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries between March 5 and April 25, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them,” details the FDA.
The FDA noted that the investigation is still underway and as such more potentially compromised products may be included in the coming weeks.
It counselled consumers who had consumed the infected strawberries who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A to immediately consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, short-term liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Contamination of food with the hepatitis A virus can happen at any point including during growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.
People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months but usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage.
In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and even death; this is more common in older people and in people with other serious health issues, such as chronic liver disease.
Jif peanut butter recall
American manufacturer of food products, J. M. Smucker Co. has also recalled its Jif peanut butter after the FDA linked it to Salmonella infections.
The first person in the outbreak fell ill on Feb. 17. In all, the FDA and CDC say, 14 people have gotten sick from the salmonella outbreak, spanning 12 states.
The recall has affected at least 69 other products since many companies use the peanut butter in their own chocolates, peanut butter sandwiches and more.
The original recall covered 49 Jif products, from 75-ounce cups to twin packs of 40-ounce jars. However the widening recalls include a number of other well-known brands, including Del Monte’s PB& J sandwiches and some of Albertsons’ store-made snacks.
The companies and brands issuing Jif-related recalls include Wawa, Country Fresh, the Coblentz Chocolate Company, and Walmart and Fudgeamentals. While some products reached shelves in only a handful of states, many of them were distributed nationwide.