Yesterday the CDC announced that public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigated 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 (Meridian); they were purchased in the United States during March 5, 2022, through April 15, 2022.
Traceback investigations showed that outbreak-associated cases in California and Minnesota purchased FreshKampo brand fresh organic strawberries prior to becoming ill. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency also investigated an outbreak of hepatitis A; imported FreshKampo brand fresh organic strawberries were identified as the likely source of that outbreak.
As of August 14, 2022, a total of 18 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A were reported from California, Minnesota and North Dakota. Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 28, 2022, to May 6, 2022. Ill people ranged in age from 9 to 73 years, with a median age of 57.5 years. Sixty-seven percent of ill people were female. Of 18 people with available information, 13 (72%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
In Canada there were 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of hepatitis A illness reported in two provinces: Alberta (4) and Saskatchewan (6). Individuals became ill between early and mid-April 2022. Individuals who became ill were between 10 to 75 years of age. Four individuals were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
The CFIA conducted 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.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that fresh organic strawberries, imported from Baja California, Mexico, were 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.
Hepatitis A: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $850 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food. The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr. We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming Hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.
If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis Aattorneys for a free case evaluation.