On May 28, 2022, the FDA, in conjunction with various U.S. and Canadian agencies, announced an investigation of hepatitis A cases. Those agencies have reason to believe that the outbreak is potentially connected to a specific line of fresh organic strawberries.
The fresh organic strawberries in question are branded as FreshKampo and HEB. They were purchased between March 5, 2022 and April 25, 2022. They are past their shelf life, so it’s likely most consumers have eaten or thrown them away by now, but it is also possible some consumers froze the strawberries for later use. The FDA advises consumers who still have them to not eat them.
Aldi and Trader Joe’s are both affected by this investigation. While neither Aldi or Trader Joe’s has (yet) posted anything on their websites, the FDA has identified both stores as locations where the organic strawberries were sold. Keep in mind that this particular recall does not apply to non-organic strawberries, and it does not apply to organic strawberries purchased before March 5, 2022, or after April 25, 2022.
In addition to Aldi and Trader Joe’s, the FDA identifies the following other stores that sold these strawberries, both in the United States and in Canada:
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- Weis Markets
- WinCo Foods
According to the FDA, if you are uncertain of what brand you purchased, when you purchased your strawberries, or where you purchased them from prior to freezing them, the strawberries should be thrown away.
In addition, the FDA urges consumers who purchased and ate these specific FreshKampo or HEB strawberries, and who are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, to consult with a healthcare professional. There are treatments, known as post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), that can prevent hepatitis A infections if given within 14 days of virus exposure. The FDA adds that people who are vaccinated against the virus or who have previously had hepatitis infection do not require PEP.
Also, the FDA urges consumers to seek out their healthcare professional if they think they may have symptoms of a hepatitis A infection after eating these fresh organic strawberries.
You can read the full FDA statement here.