Five States reveal facilities that received hepatitis A strawberries

Five states have posted notices, either on their Facebook pages or on their state web sites, about the facilities that may have received frozen strawberries, imported from Egypt, that are associated with a hepatitis A outbreak. At least 134 people in 9 states have been diagnosed with the viral illness since the summer of 2016. Most of those patients ate smoothies made with the frozen strawberries at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Officials from Wyoming, Texas, California, Michigan, and Colorado have posted public health alerts about this issue. No hepatitis A illnesses have been linked to the berries sold in these locations, or in any other locations other than the original outbreak area, but the illness can take up to 50 days to appear, so cases may be reported in the next few weeks.

The strawberries were recalled by The International Company for Agricultural Production and Processing (ICAPP) on October 30, 2016. That notice on the FDA recall page only listed the five national distributors who sold the berries across the country. It did not list the facilities that received the strawberries, the states where they may have been sold, or where they were sold or given to consumers, including schoolchildren.

In Wyoming, the Sheridan School District served the frozen strawberries at Sagebrush Elementary, Henry A. Coffeen Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Sheridan Jr. High School and Sheridan High School on October 25, 28, 31, and November 1. The notice recommends that all school staff members, attendees, or parents who ate frozen strawberries at those schools on those dates get a hepatitis A vaccination if they haven’t already done so.

California posted a list, 177 pages long, of the facilities that may have received the strawberries. It includes schools, care homes, restaurants, and other locations.

Colorado posted a Google document that listed the facilities that may have sold the frozen strawberries. Also in Colorado, Weld County posted the names of two restaurants that received the berries.

On the state of Michigan web site, a list of known establishments that received the berries was posted. Those facilities include restaurants, taverns, and care facilities. And the Abilene Taylor County Health District in the state of Texas posted information on their Facebook page that the strawberries were sold under the SYSCO brand name.


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