Check your berries. A hepatitis A outbreak may be linked to tainted strawberries.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in both the United States and Canada potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries.

Berry Brand

The potentially contaminated berries, branded as FreshKampo and HEB, would have been purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022. The concern is over people freezing them for later use.

Epidemiologic and traceback data show that fresh organic strawberries sold as FreshKampo and HEB brands that were purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, are a likely cause of illness in this outbreak.

Strawberry. Two berries with leaves isolated on white background.
anna1311/Think Stock

Where Berries Sold

The berries were sold at the following retailers, including, but not limited to:

Sprouts Farmers Market
Trader Joe’s
Weis Markets
WinCo Foods

There have been cases of tainted berries possibly causing hepatitis in California, Minnesota, and in several Canadian provinces.

Strawberry Season
Getty Images

What is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that can cause liver disease. Infections can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

In rare cases, particularly for people with a pre-existing health condition or people with weakened immune systems, hepatitis A infections can progress to liver failure and death.

If you are unsure of what brand your strawberries are or where you purchased them from prior to freezing them, you should throw them away. If you've purchased fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo or HEB between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, you should immediately consult your healthcare professional to determine whether post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed.

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