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CDC and CFIA report 28 Hepatitis A Illnesses due to FreshKampo and HEB Strawberries

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A linked to imported fresh organic strawberries. These potentially contaminated fresh organic strawberries were imported from Baja California, a state in northern Mexico, and branded as FreshKampo and HEB by a common supplier; they were purchased in the United States during March 5, 2022, through April 15, 2022. Traceback investigations show that outbreak-associated cases in California and Minnesota purchased FreshKampo brand fresh organic strawberries prior to becoming ill.

As of June 21, 2022, a total of 18 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A have been reported from 3 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 28, 2022, to May 6, 2022. Ill people range in age from 9 to 73 years, with a median age of 57.5 years. Sixty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 18 people with available information, 13 (72%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are also investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A; imported FreshKampo brand fresh organic strawberries have been identified as the likely source of that outbreak.

As of June 2, 2022, there are 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of hepatitis A illness being investigated in two provinces: Alberta (4) and Saskatchewan (6). Individuals became ill between early and mid April 2022. Individuals who became ill are between 10 to 75 years of age. Four individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation into the FreshKampo brand fresh organic strawberries purchased between March 5 and 9, 2022 at Co-op stores in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Currently, there are no food recall warnings associated with this outbreak.

The U.S. CDC and FDA are also investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A infections potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries. Investigators in Canada and the U.S. continue to collaborate to exchange information and identify commonalities in the outbreak information that may identify additional sources of illness or help to identify the cause of contamination in the fresh organic strawberries.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that fresh organic strawberries, imported from Baja California, Mexico, are the likely source of this outbreak. The potentially affected FreshKampo and HEB products are past shelf life and no longer available for purchase in the United States. People who purchased FreshKampo or HEB fresh organic strawberries during March 5, 2022, through April 15, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them. These products may have been sold at the following retailers, including, but not limited to: HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods.
The downstream recall previously reported (Urban Remedy Organic Revitalizing Tea Tonic Strawberry Hibiscus Rose) is now considered a market withdrawal. It has been determined that the product was not made using implicated strawberries.

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