In a follow-up on the multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries used in smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Café locations prior to August 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this week updated data on the outbreak.
As of October 17, 2016, 134 people with hepatitis A have been reported from nine states: Arkansas (1), California (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (107), West Virginia (7), and Wisconsin (1).
52 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Federal health officials say this; however, does not indicate an ongoing risk of acquiring hepatitis A virus infection at Tropical Smoothie Café’s, as the contaminated food product has been removed as of August 8. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection can take up to 50 days to appear.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.
On August 8, 2016, Tropical Smoothie Café reported that they removed the Egyptian frozen strawberries from their restaurants in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia and switched to another supplier. Out of an abundance of caution, Tropical Smoothie Café has since switched to another supplier for all restaurants nationwide.