CFIA investigating outbreak of hepatitis A infections potentially linked to imported organic strawberries

Sarah Jones | May 27, 2022 in National News

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Based on investigation findings to date, consumption of imported fresh organic strawberries is the likely source of the outbreak. 

Many of the individuals who were ill reported having eaten fresh organic strawberries before their illnesses occurred.

To date, there are four cases in Alberta and six in Saskatchewan, with four of these individuals being admitted to the hospital. 

These imported fresh organic strawberries were purchased between March 5 and 9, 2022 at Co-op stores in Alberta and Saskatchewan and are no longer available for purchase in Canada.

“However, check your freezer for these strawberries if you had bought them and froze them to eat later,” said Health Canada.  

“Do not eat these strawberries. Throw away any remaining fresh organic strawberries that were purchased between March 5 and 9, 2022 at Co-op stores in Alberta and Saskatchewan. If you don't know where the strawberries came from, throw them out.”

If you suspect you have been exposed to these organic strawberries, or have symptoms consistent with hepatitis A infection, see your health care provider immediately. 

Vaccination can prevent a hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of exposure.

At this time there are no food recall warnings associated with this outbreak.

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