Tropical Smoothie Hepatitis A Outbreak: The CDC Confirms 143 Victims from 9 States – the vast majority recalled consuming a product at a Tropical Smoothie location . . .
The tainted strawberries implicated in the Tropical Smoothie Hepatitis A outbreak were imported by “The International Company for Agricultural Production and Processing” (ICAPP), and included both whole and partial strawberries. The strawberries were imported whole, sliced, sugared, or diced. All were distributed as ready-to-eat to U.S. locations who served them to the public. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified the strawberries as the source of the Hepatitis A outbreak, and traced their origin to Egypt. The FDA then consulted with the Egyptian International Health Regulations National Focal Point, and placed all ICAPP strawberries on an Import Alert (No. 99-35).
At least five samples of ICAPP’s frozen strawberries have tested positive for hepatitis A, this according to the FDA. ICAPP initiated a recall of all frozen strawberries and frozen strawberry products it has imported since January 1, 2016 in response.
ICAPP’s recalled frozen strawberries have been widely distributed, including to Tropical Smoothie Café locations. The ICAPP strawberries were received by C.H. Belt of Lake Forest, Ca. (sold under CH World Brand); Jetro/Restaurant Depot of College Point, N.Y. (sold under James Farm brand and unbranded “Bits & Pieces”); Sysco Corporation of Houston, Tex. (sold under Sysco brand); Patagonia Foods of San Luis Obispo, Ca. (sold under Patagonia brand); and Reddy Raw of Woodridge, N.J. (sold under Regal brand).
So far, the illnesses seem to be linked only to whole frozen strawberries.
The CDC has issued a rare post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for those who have been exposed who have not been vaccinated. The PEP is directed at any person who consumed any of the recalled frozen strawberries in the later part of October or in November of 2016.
Victim in Nine States Report Consuming Tropical Smoothie Products
The victims have been identified in Arizona, California, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. ). At least 52 victims have been hospitalized, and nearly all report having frequented a Tropical Smoothie Café in the weeks or month before becoming sick.
The agency discussed the investigation with the Egyptian International Health Regulations National Focal Point, and placed frozen strawberries from ICAPP on Import Alert 99-35 after multiple positive samples confirmed hepatitis A in the product.
For more information about the Tropical Smoothie Hepatitis A outbreak, or to speak to a Hepatitis A lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.