Five states have posted notices, either on their Facebook pages or on their state websites, about facilities that may have received frozen strawberries associated with a multi-state hepatitis A outbreak that started this summer. The strawberries, which originated in Egypt, were recalled by the International Company for Agricultural Production and Processing (ICAPP) on Oct. 30. At least 134 people in nine states have been diagnosed with the viral illness since the summer of 2016. Most ate smoothies made with the frozen strawberries at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina.
The FDA recall page listed only the five national distributors who sold the berries, with no details provided about the facilities receiving the strawberries. Now, officials from Wyoming, Texas, California, Michigan, and Colorado have posted public health alerts confirming the frozen berries were consumed in schools, rest homes and restaurants. No hepatitis A illnesses have been linked to the strawberries sold in these locations, however, or in any other locations other than the original outbreak area.
The concern is that the illness can take up to 50 days to appear, so more cases may be reported in the next few weeks. People who consume the tainted fruit have only two weeks from the time of exposure to get a prophylactic vaccination against the hepatitis A virus. READ MORE