The CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. 70 people with hepatitis A have been reported from seven states: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (55), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1). 32 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.
On August 8, 2016, Tropical Smoothie Café reported that they removed the Egyptian frozen strawberries from their restaurants in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia and switched to another supplier. Out of an abundance of caution, Tropical Smoothie Café has since switched to another supplier for all restaurants nationwide.
Contact your doctor if you think you may have become ill from eating a smoothie containing strawberries from a Tropical Smoothie Café prior to August 8, 2016 in the following states:
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
It is important that food handlers and restaurant employees contact their doctor and stay home if they are infected with hepatitis A. This helps prevent the virus from spreading. Not everyone will experience symptoms from a hepatitis A virus infection. Some people may experience mild flu-like symptoms. Other symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include:
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Abdominal pain
- Pale stools
- Dark urine