Update 11/3/2016: The FDA has learned that frozen strawberry products subject to recall by The International Company for Agricultural Production and Processing (ICAPP), including but not limited to whole, sliced and sugared, and diced strawberries, may have been served in food service operations as recently as October 27, 2016.
The FDA recommends that institutions and food service operations supplied by any of the five companies identified below immediately reach out to their suppliers and determine if they received frozen strawberry product recalled by ICAPP. Then, if needed, institutions and food service operations that find they served any recalled product within the last two weeks should contact their local health department and communicate to their customers regarding possible exposure to hepatitis A virus and the potential benefit of post exposure prophylaxis.
The FDA and CDC are not currently aware of any illnesses related to any recalled products other than whole frozen strawberries. However, because hepatitis A can have serious health consequences, CDC advises post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for unvaccinated persons who have consumed any of the recalled frozen strawberry products in the last 2 weeks. PEP offers no preventive benefit to persons whose exposure occurred more than 2 weeks ago.
The five consignees who received recalled frozen strawberry products from ICAPP are:
C.H. Belt of Lake Forest, Ca. (sold under CH World Brand)
Jetro/Restaurant Depot of College Point, N.Y. (sold under James Farm brand and unbranded “Bits & Pieces”)
Sysco Corporation of Houston, Tex. (sold under Sysco brand)
Patagonia Foods of San Luis Obispo, Ca. (sold under Patagonia brand)
Reddy Raw of Woodridge, N.J. (sold under Regal brand).
The FDA is working with these firms to help identify further downstream customers who may have received the recalled frozen strawberry products. More product information in table below.
The FDA, CDC and state and local officials are investigating hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections linked to frozen whole strawberries in smoothies served in Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurant locations.
On October 19, 2016 the FDA placed frozen strawberries from ICAPP on Import Alert 99-35 after multiple positive samples confirmed hepatitis A in the product.
As of October 20, 2016, CDC reports 134 people with hepatitis A linked to this outbreak have been reported from 9 states (AR, CA, MD, NC, NY, OR, VA, WI and WV).
129 of these cases reported eating a smoothie containing strawberries from Tropical Smoothie Café. There have been no cases reporting illness from this same exposure since September 23, 2016.
5 cases had no exposure to Tropical smoothie café. The latest illness onset date among these cases was 10/1/2016.
The investigation into these cases is ongoing.
According to the CDC, information available at this time does not indicate an ongoing risk of acquiring hepatitis A virus infection at Tropical Smoothie Café’s. Tropical Smoothie Café reported that they removed these strawberries from their Cafés nationwide on August 19.
On October 25, 2016, ICAPP recalled all frozen strawberries and frozen strawberry products that it has imported into the United States since January 1, 2016. These include whole, sliced and sugared, and diced frozen strawberries.