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Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen Strawberries in Smoothies

Posted on in Hepatitis
Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen Strawberries in Smoothies

Although certain types of food are linked with food poisoning outbreaks more frequently than others, nearly any type of food or consumable product can carry harmful bacteria that can cause victims to fall ill. One recent report from Food Safety News cites frozen strawberries as the culprit for the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A. As of September 8th, 2016, 89 people in seven states have suffered from symptoms of Hepatitis A after consuming smoothies made with frozen strawberries imported from Egypt. Reports came from West Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Virginia.

In most of these cases, the victim consumed a smoothie made by a restaurant or retailer, rather than purchasing the strawberries and making the smoothie at home. Multiple chains, including Tropical Smoothie Cafe, were cited as the sources of the contaminated smoothies.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include the following:

  • Nausea;
  • Fatigue;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Vomiting;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Dark urine;
  • Weight loss; and
  • Joint and muscle pain.

Treating Hepatitis A

Unlike many other types of food poisoning, an individual suffering from Hepatitis A can take up to two months to fully recover. Hepatitis A causes the victim to lose fluid, which results in some of the symptoms above, such as dark urine. When an individual is suffering from Hepatitis A, he or she must rest and consume a substantial amount of water to stay hydrated.

An individual who rests and consumes enough water can recover from Hepatitis A without medical intervention. There is no medical treatment for Hepatitis A, though there is a booster vaccine that can reduce an individual's chance of contracting the condition if he or she comes into contact with it. This vaccine is effective for up to one year after it is administered.

How is Hepatitis A Contracted?

Hepatitis A is a virus that can be transmitted through any type of contact. In addition to spreading through food, Hepatitis A can be spread through unprotected sexual intercourse and simple close contact with an infected individual.

When it is spread through food, it is often spread by food handlers who do not thoroughly wash their hands or the food they prepare before serving it. It can also be spread through contaminated water, either through drinking the water or by eating shellfish that lived in the contaminated water and were served raw or undercooked.

Work with an Arlington Heights Food Poisoning Lawyer

If you or your child have suffered from food poisoning because of another party's negligence, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim. To learn more about filing a personal injury claim for a food poisoning case, speak with a member of our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP. We serve clients in the North Chicago, Fox Lake, Zion, Winthrop Harbor, Waukegan areas from out our office located in the prestigious 180 North LaSalle street building in Chicago.

(image courtesy of Max Straeten)

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