Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen Strawberries in US Prompts Canadian Investigation – National | globalnews.ca

He Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating if frozen organic strawberries who have been linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak in the United States were also sold in Canada.

Since mid-March, several brands of frozen organic strawberries have been recalled in the US due to concerns about hepatitis A infections.

The strawberries in question were imported by a common supplier of certain farms located in Baja California, a Mexican state, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). he said in an update on April 11.

The affected products were recalled across the country from large supermarket chains such as Costco and Trader Joe’s.

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The CFIA, which is responsible for food safety investigations and recalls in Canada, said they are currently unaware of any Canadian distribution of strawberries that may pose an infection risk, but are looking into the matter.

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“The CFIA is aware of the outbreak in the United States and is working with US authorities to confirm if any affected product is being sold in Canada,” an agency spokesperson told Global News on Friday.

“If an affected product is identified, the agency will work with the industry to recall the product as soon as possible.”

Health Canada told Global News that there are currently no active strawberry recalls in Canada.

Click to play video: 'New recommendations for hepatitis B'

New recommendations for hepatitis B

Last year, 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of hepatitis A FreshKampo brand fresh organic strawberries were reported in two Canadian provinces: Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In that outbreak, four people required hospitalization but there were no deaths.

The FDA, which is continuing its investigation, says the current disease-causing strain of hepatitis A virus is “genetically identical” to the strain that caused the outbreak last year.

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Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can be prevented by vaccination.

The virus is contracted by eating contaminated food or water or by contact with the feces of an infected person, according to Health Canada.

Click to play video: 'Canada records 10 cases of unexplained hepatitis in children, 1 new case in Alberta'

Canada records 10 cases of unexplained hepatitis in children, 1 new case in Alberta

Raw fruits and vegetables, as well as raw or undercooked shellfish, are common food sources of hepatitis A.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, dark urine and jaundice, states the Health Canada website.

Symptoms are usually mild and last one to two weeks. However, severe illness can last for several months.

Health Canada offers the following tips To avoid hepatitis A infection:

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  • Wash your hands after using the bathroom and changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.
  • When traveling, especially to developing countries:
    • drink water from a safe supply (commercially bottled carbonated water or boiled water)
    • avoid ice cubes in drinks
    • eat only freshly cooked food
    • avoid raw fruits or vegetables that cannot be peeled
  • Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against hepatitis A before you travel.
  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature using a digital thermometer.
  • If you think you have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus, see your doctor immediately. Vaccination can prevent the onset of symptoms if given within two weeks of exposure.
  • If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, or any other gastrointestinal disease, do not prepare food or serve water for others.

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