Several states, CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) are continuing to investigate a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Information available at this time does not indicate an ongoing risk of acquiring hepatitis A virus infection at Tropical Smoothie Café’s, as the contaminated food product has been removed as of August 8. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection can take up to 50 days to appear. As a result, CDC continues to identify cases of hepatitis A related to the initial contaminated product.
89 people with hepatitis A have been reported from seven states: Maryland (10), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (70), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1).
39 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.
In interviews, nearly all ill people interviewed reported drinking smoothies containing strawberries at Tropical Smoothie Café locations prior to August 8 in a limited geographical area, including Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
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.
If you think you’ve gotten sick from drinking a smoothie containing frozen strawberries from a Tropical Smoothie Café prior to August 8, contact your doctor.
© 2016 US Food Safety Corporation. No copyright claim is made for portions of this blog and linked items that are works of the United States Government, state governments or third parties.