The patient count in a hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen organic strawberries has increased, according to an update from the Food and Drug Administration.

There are now eight confirmed patients in the outbreak, which has been ongoing since at least Nov. 24, 2022, with the most recent patient confirmed on April 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can take up to 50 days after exposure for symptoms to develop. Ill people range in age from 38 to 64 years. One-fourth of the patients are female. Two of the patients have required hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

All of the patients reported eating frozen organic strawberries before becoming sick. 

Two companies have issued recalls in relation to the outbreak, California Splendor and Scenic Fruit. Recalled brands include:

  • Simply Nature, Organic Strawberries, Best By 06/14/2024
  • Vital Choice, Organic Strawberries, BEST BY 05/20/2024
  • Kirkland Signature, Organic Strawberries, Best If Used By 10/08/2024
  • Made With, Organic Strawberries, Best Before 11/20/2024
  • PCC Community Markets, Organic Strawberries, Best By 29/10/2024
  • Trader Joe’s, Organic Tropical Fruit Blend with the following Best By dates: 04/25/24; 05/12/24; 05/23/24; 05/30/24; 06/07/24

In other outbreak news, The FDA continues its investigation into an outbreak of infections caused by Salmonella Infantis that has been linked to flour.

As of the most recent update, on March 30, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak has sickened at least a dozen people across 11 states. Three of the patients have required hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

Although a specific brand of flour has not been revealed by federal officials, the FDA reports that it has begun onsite inspection of an unnamed location and sample collection.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from Dec. 6, 2022, to Feb. 13, 2023, but there are likely more sick people who have not yet been confirmed because of the time it takes for testing and reporting.

The sick people live from coast to coast in Oregon, California, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia and New York. Whole genome sequencing from lab samples from the patients shows a common cause for their infections. 

The CDC continues to remind people to exercise caution when cooking with flour. Raw dough and batter should not be eaten and children should not be allowed to play with raw flour. Utensils used when cooking with raw flour and surfaces that come into contact with it should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Flour is a raw agricultural product and can be easily contaminated when grain is processed.

An outbreak of Listeria infections spanning 15 states remains under investigation with no source identified as yet. The CDC reports that all of the patients have been confirmed sick with the outbreak strain of the pathogen. Seventeen of 18 patients have required hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

The FDA reports that it has begun traceback efforts as well as onsite inspection and sample collection, but it has not reported what locations are being inspected or what foods are being sampled.

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