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Swedish Supermarket Removes Frozen Strawberries for Hep A Risk

Swedish supermarket chain Ica has removed all frozen strawberries from its stores due to the risk of hepatitis A contamination, according to Swedish news outlet The Local.

The recalled berries, grown in Morocco and Egypt, come labeled as Ica Basic frozen strawberries, Ica deep frozen strawberries, and Ica Basic Berry Mix (Bärmix).

Sweden and several other European countries faced a hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries earlier this year, with at least 44 people falling ill between Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

In the U.S., an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A linked to Townsend Farms frozen berry mix sold at Costco has sickened at least 132 people across eight states. That outbreak is believed to be caused by contaminated pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey.

The outbreak strain in the Townsend Farms outbreak is hepatitis A genotype 1B, a variety not found in the U.S. but common in the Middle East and North Africa.

There does not appear to be any evidence that the European outbreak and the Townsend Farms outbreak are connected.

© Food Safety News
  • Oginikwe

    They may not be connected but Hepatitis A from the pomegranate berries showed up in the Nordic countries a couple of months before it started showing up here. End of August for us?