Why Fruit Smoothies Are Causing “Hepatitis-A” Outbreak In The U.S.

U.S. health officials are reporting, More than 70 people have gotten sick in a hepatitis A crash linked to smoothies made with strawberries infected with the virus.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, till now 70 cases been identified across 7 states: New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin,

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32 people have ended up in the hospital because of their sickness. No deaths have been reported. The CDC says traceback sign is leading to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt as the reason for the outbreak.

The CDC said in a statement. ‘In interviews, almost all ill people interviewed reported drinking smoothies carrying strawberries at Tropical Smoothie Cafe areas in a limited geographical area,’ By August 8, Tropical Smoothie Cafe transported the Egyptian frozen strawberries from their restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, N.C, and West Virginia.

Right now the CDC is managing with public health officials in the affected states. People with hepatitis A won’t show signs until 15 to 50 days after having contaminated food or drink. The CDC warned, ‘We foresee to see more sick people reported in this crash because of this long incubation period’.

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It’s unclear if the Egyptian frozen berries made their route to Canada. So far, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Public Health Agency of Canada have not entered any warnings attached to the frozen goods.

In June, however, PHAC reported an outbreak of hepatitis A in 3 provinces that was attached to a frozen berry blend. Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend was recalled in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Health Canada did not yet reply to a request for comment on Labour Day.

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Hepatitis A is a serious illness that attacks the liver. Signs include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools
  • Fever and fatigue

Because of vaccines, cases of the virus have fallen down and are typically connected to international travel or occasional foodborne sicknesses.

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The company’s CEO, Mike Rotondo, spoke customer concerns in a statement last month, ‘Eat better, feel better’ is not just a selling slogan, it’s a promise, and it’s something I think in very dearly. Recently, some strawberries may have made their way into the stock chain that could challenge that concept. I truly apologize for any issues this may have caused for any of our customers. We voluntarily and instantly removed all of those strawberries from all of our cafes, and we have managed new strawberries for every location. We take this matter very seriously. Your health and your safety are our top priority.’

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