Minnesota health authorities said this week that a customer contracted hepatitis A after eating tainted strawberries purchased at a St. Paul food co-op, and they advised customers to avoid specific organic brands that have been linked to dozens of more cases.
Consumers should avoid eating fresh or organic strawberries from the FreshKampo or H-E-B brands purchased between March 5 and April 25 because they are linked to hepatitis A infections, according to the Department of Health. Strawberries linked to the epidemic have been taken off store shelves, however MDH is advising people to discard strawberries from the two brands if they bought them during the specified window of time and frozen them for later use. H-E-B is a grocery store chain based in Texas.
The Minnesota customer contracted hepatitis A after purchasing and eating berries from Mississippi Market’s FreshKampo brand on March 21, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. That person did not need to be admitted to the hospital and has since recovered.
Those who may have consumed contaminated berries should seek medical attention, especially if they experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, jaundice, darker-colored urine, or clay-colored feces, according to MDH. Hepatitis A symptoms usually appear 15 to 50 days after consuming infected food or beverages.
According to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 illnesses have been documented in the United States as a result of the infected berries: one in Minnesota, one in North Dakota, and 15 in California. In the meanwhile, Canada has identified nearly 30 cases linked to the epidemic.
According to MDH, hepatitis A vaccination can help prevent infections and is advised starting at the age of one year.