Hep A Outbreak Linked to Item at Washington State Costco Stores
The FDA is warning people to avoid certain brands of organic strawberries, and have issued a recall on them, after an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) traced an outbreak of Hepatitis A back to the products.
Five people in Washington State have reported contracting Hepatitis A beginning in November of 2022 and into December of 2022. The CDC does advise it can take several weeks to determine if a person's sickness as a result of a food is part of an outbreak.
What Product is being recalled?
The product in question at Costco Stores are frozen Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries 4lb. The UPC code is 96619140404 and the best before date is 10/08/2024. This particular run is available in Costco stores in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Utah.
The strawberries in question are believed to have come from certain farms in Baja California, Mexico. All of the cases reported in Washington State were from the same retain brand according to the CDC's traceback and epidemiological investigation.
How do I know if I have Hepatitis A?
Some common signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A are:
- Yellow skin or eyes
- Not wanting to eat
- Upset stomach
- Stomach pain
- Throwing up
- Dark urine or light-colored stools
- Joint pain
- Feeling tired
It can take anywhere from two to seven weeks for symptoms to present after exposure to the virus. Of the five people that have reported contracted Hepatitis A, two have been hospitalized with no deaths reported.
What is Hepatitis A?
The CDC describes Hepatitis A as "Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. The hepatitis A virus is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food or drink."
The best way to determine if you have Hepatitis A is through a blood test. A vaccine is also available to help prevent infection.
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