The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A cases and has identified a potential association with smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants in Virginia. On August 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified VDH that genetic testing of multiple ill persons showed the illnesses were caused by a strain of hepatitis A that had been associated with past outbreaks due to frozen strawberries from Egypt. Frozen Egyptian strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Café are thought to be the source of this outbreak. This product has been removed from use at all Tropical Smoothie locations in Virginia.
As of 12:00 pm on *August 30, 2016, 44 Virginia residents who had tested positive for hepatitis A reported consuming a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Café prior to becoming ill. Approximately 50% of the residents, for whom information is available, have been hospitalized for their illness. The 44 ill residents range in age from 15-68. Onsets of illness for the 44 cases range from early May through August. The common exposure shared by ill persons was not hypothesized until August, at which time VDH re-interviewed persons reported earlier in the year to confirm the link with smoothie consumption.
The investigation into this outbreak is ongoing.
- Read the Press Releases
- Health Alert: Potential Hepatitis A Exposure at Local Restaurant (August 26, 2016)
- Health Officials Warn of Increased Hepatitis A Risk (August 19, 2016)
- Contact your local health department if you have any questions about this investigation.
- Learn more about Hepatitis A
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 $600 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 Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.
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 A attorneys for a free case evaluation.