The Food and Drug Administration has issued a nationwide recall on frozen strawberries and strawberry products based on reports of hepatitis A detected.
State officials report that they are working to ensure that recalled frozen strawberries are removed from stores and no longer being served in Michigan restaurants. The Michigan Department and Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are working to provide the most current information from federal partners.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reports 134 people with hepatitis A as of Oct. 20, 2016. The outbreak has been reported from 9 different states. The origins of the strawberries link back to Egypt, sold by the International Company for Agricultural Production and Processing.
According to a CDC report, 129 of the cases reported eating a smoothing containing strawberries from Tropical Smoothie Cafe. However, 5 cases reported no exposure to Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the latest illness onset date being among these cases, occurring Oct. 1, 2016.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe has reported to the CDC that they removed strawberries from their cafes nationwide and switched to a different provider. The CDC does not believe there is further risk of infection involving the restaurant chain.
On Oct. 25, the ICAPP recalled all frozen strawberries and strawberry products that had been imported to the United States since Jan. 1, 2016, including whole, sliced and sugared, and diced frozen strawberries, based on FDA reports. To view a list of specific products recalled, visit the FDA's Recalls, Outbreaks, and Emergencies website.
Kent County Health Department was alerted by the MDARD on Nov. 4, that two local facilities have served contaminated strawberries in the last two weeks:
Romano’s Macaroni Grill, 5525 28th Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49512 (near I-96)
HCR ManorCare Grand Rapids, 2320 E Beltline SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
“If you have eaten an item containing strawberries at Macaroni Grill or HRC ManorCare on the Beltline in the last 14 days, you should receive either the Hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible to try to prevent the illness,” said Adam London, Kent County Health Department Administrative Health Officer.
“The immunization is only effective up to 14 days after exposure, so it is important to contact your health care provider while you are in the 14 day window. If it has been longer than 14 days, you should be aware of the symptoms of Hepatitis A and if you become ill, contact your health care provider.”
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from a hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. According to the FDA, illness occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure and symptoms include yellowing skin and eyes, fatigue, abdominal pain, dark urine and pale stools. The CDC states that 52 people have been hospitalized and zero deaths have been reported.