Fifteen businesses across West Michigan that received and might have served frozen strawberries that were recently recalled due to a potential Hepatitis A contamination have been included in a list released Thursday by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).
There have been no reports of illnesses in the area, but the frozen fruits were recalled the past weekend because of a nationwide Hepatitis A outbreak. Last Sunday, the International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing voluntarily recalled all frozen strawberries it had imported from Egypt into the United States since Jan.1, 2016, as part of an investigation of the outbreak of Hepatitis A conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the MDARD.
The fruits included in the recall were not distributed for use in food products offered for retail sale but for sale and use in food service locations across the country, the MDARD added.
Consumers who ate a food product containing strawberries at the establishments included in the list are strongly advised to get the hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible to prevent the illness.
Adam London with the Kent County Health Department said the vaccine is only effective for up to 14 days after exposure to the contaminated item, as reported by Fox17 Online. If it has been longer than 14 days since consumers ate the contaminated strawberry, they should immediately contact their doctor, London noted.
In response to the statement about the recall, Biggby, which had several establishments on the state list, said they had received the product in August and destroyed it in early September before the recall was official, according to the report by Fox17 Online. Biggby added that the product was destroyed before it was even opened.
MDARD has joined forces with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to work on the nationwide recall by providing the latest information and assisting both the commercial food service establishments which may have received the recalled products and the people who may have been exposed to them.
For its part, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for individuals who have consumed the potentially contaminated fruits in the last couple of weeks.
About the highly contagious liver infection
People who have contracted Hepatitis A after consuming contaminated food can experience fatigue, yellow skin or jaundice, abdominal pain, dark urine, fever, abnormal liver tests and pale stool within 15 to 50 days after exposure. Some patients can also experience loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. A serious illness can last several months, and mild cases can last a few weeks.
Extreme cases can occur in patients who have a compromised immune system or a pre-existing severe illness, which can lead to liver failure.
Source: Fox News