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What is the Hepatitis A Virus?

About Hepatitis A

One of the most important organs in your body is your liver. Responsible for detoxification, your liver also helps in digestion and also allows you to store energy. When infected, your liver might be unable to carry out these functions. Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV).  The virus is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, so you can become infected if you:

  • Drink contaminated water or consume food that was processed in such water.
  • Consume food prepared by someone infected with the virus whose hands were improperly washed after using the restroom.
  • Have oral contact with any object contaminated with the stool of an infected person.
  • Provide care to infected persons.

Hepatitis A Symptoms

For the most part, HAV infections are often asymptomatic but when symptoms occur, infected persons might feel as though they caught the flu. Jaundice is the most common symptom associated with HAV infection.

Hepatitis A Diagnosis

Blood samples are used to diagnose HAV. The infection is usually self-resolving. However, chronically infected persons still carry the virus 6 months after infection. Consult your physician if you experience jaundice or flu-like symptoms. While HAV infection can be prevented with a vaccine, a good practice would be to ensure proper hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before preparing food and other situations that could potentially transmit the virus.

Read more

Recent Hepatitis Reports

Foodstuffs Own Brands Ltd is recalling various Pams frozen berry products as a precaution because of a possible link to recent cases of Hepatitis A. The products are being removed from New World, Pak’n Save and Four Square stores nationwide, and from Trents and Raeward Fresh stores... See More in the South Island. The products under recall were identified through the course of New Zealand Food Safety’s ongoing investigation.

The recalled products are:
- Pams Frozen Mixed Berries 500g.
- Pams Frozen Two Berry Mix 1kg.
- Pams Frozen Two Berry Mix 750g.
- Pams Frozen Smoothie Berry Mix 500g.
- Pams Raspberries 500g.
- Pams Raspberries 350g.

The New Zealand Food Safety investigation into the source of the illness continues and existing advice to heat treat all frozen berries remains. There are currently 12 Hepatitis A cases in the community linked to the consumption of frozen berries. 7 of the 12 cases have been hospitalized.

The recalled products contain berries from Serbia and were reported as eaten by most of the people who have become sick. In the meantime, as an additional precaution, other frozen berry importers have decided to place on hold other berries which can be traced back to Serbia while the investigation continues.

People who have these products at home should not eat them raw. Bringing them to the boil will make them safe, or they can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

New Zealand Food Safety’s advice to consumers:
- Briefly boil frozen berries before eating them, or if you have a thermometer at home, ensure cooking temperatures exceed 85 degrees Celsius for 1 minute. Heated berries can be safely refrozen for later use.
- If you microwave berries, you should stir at half-way through the cooking process to make sure they are cooked through. Microwave’s settings will vary, the important thing is to ensure the berries reach boiling.
- Wash your hands before eating and preparing food.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: mpi.govt.nz
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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced that clusters and outbreaks of hepatitis A virus (HAV) genotype IB with four unique but closely related HAV sequences have been reported in six European Union (EU) countries and in the United Kingdom (UK).

As of 29 September... See More 2022, 303 cases with identical or closely related HAV strains have been identified in Austria (7), Germany (8), Hungary (161), the Netherlands (8), Slovenia (35), Sweden (8), and the UK (76). Currently, available epidemiological and microbiological data suggest that human-to-human transmission has occurred, and possibly also transmission through contaminated food.

On 15 February 2022, Hungary reported an outbreak of HAV genotype IB with the disease onset of the first case in early December 2021. To date, 161 cases (139 males, 22 females) have been confirmed with this strain in the National Hepatitis Reference Laboratory in Hungary. The weekly number of reported hepatitis A cases have been declining since June 2022. In July 2022, a foodborne outbreak was suspected with a link to a restaurant in Hungary, where 16 people fell ill with HAV IB infection. Some of the patients reported consuming cold soup made with frozen berries.

In the UK, no clear source of infection has been identified, but epidemiological investigations so far indicate possible foodborne infections in addition to person-to-person transmission.

Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden have reported a total of 9 cases infected with strains matching the sequences of the UK strain. Investigations of these cases didn’t find any clear risk factors for infection such as a travel history or consumption of berries. Further investigations are ongoing.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: ecdc.europa.eu
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New Zealand Food Safety has issued a warning to consumers, especially those with chronic liver damage, the elderly and pregnant people to consider extra precautions if eating frozen berries to minimize the risk of Hepatitis A.

They have recently become aware of 3 cases of Hepatitis A,... See More all of whom regularly consume imported frozen berries and are linked through virus genotyping. Also mentioned while there is not sufficient information on a specific brand to initiate a targeted product recall, the evidence from the cases and from international experience, indicates a risk of exposure to Hepatitis A from consuming imported frozen berries.

New Zealand Food Safety is advising people to be aware of the risks and if eating frozen berries to take the following precautions during pregnancy, if they are elderly or with chronic liver damage:
- Briefly boil frozen berries before eating them, or
- Ensure cooking temperatures exceed 85 degrees Celsius for 1 minute.
- Wash your hands before eating and preparing food.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: mpi.govt.nz
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Ardo NV is recalling Ardo Fruitberry mix because Hepatitis A has been found in the product, which makes the product unsafe to eat. This product was distributed in England and Northern Ireland.

- Affected products:
Ardo Fruitberry mix (1kg)
Lot number: 58622130
Best before: November 2024

Ardo... See More Fruitberry mix (1kg)
Lot number: 58622131
Best before: November 2024

Ardo Fruitberry mix (2.5kg)
Lot number: 58622131
Best before: May 2024

If you have bought this product do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

In case you experienced Hepatitis A symptoms such as fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, dark-colored urine, and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin), it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve issues and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Company name: Ardo NV
Brand name: Ardo
Product recalled: Ardo Fruitberry mix
FSA Recall date: 08/24/2022

Source: food.gov.uk
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KI
k......s
How is this even possible? Someone with a disease was spilling their blood over those fruits and berries? >:S
Reply 1 month ago
IW
Iwaspoisoned Support
Hi, thanks for your comment. The CDC advises that contamination of food and water can occur when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand-washing hygiene. Although foodborne illnesses caused by hepatitis A are not common; water, shellfish, raw vegetables and fruit (berries), and salads are most frequently cited as potential foodborne sources.
Reply 1 month ago
RZ
anonymous6635
'Fecal oral' route is common for Hep A - it means for example 1) a food worker has Hep A 2) they poop and don't wash their hands properly afterward 3) they handles the product, or something that touches the product. AND - Hep A virus is not killed by freezing it.
Reply 1 month ago
DI
d.......6
I think it is disgusting that we have to worry @ getting sick from our food source..all of this contamination... I worry @ getting sick all the time.Hepatitis is serious..who pays the hospital bill ??
Reply 1 month ago
CR
C............w
Hep A is not from someone “ spilling their blood over fruits and berries”. You can catch it from food, water, shellfish and even touching someone such as a hand shake. Most cases in the food industry is from people not washing their hands properly after using the restroom. It can be transferred from fecal matter.
Reply 1 month ago
The FSAI announced an update of the recall issued on August 23, 2022 to include all May 2024 best before dates of Ardo Frozen Fruitberry Mix due to the presence of hepatitis A.

The recalled product is:
- Ardo Frozen Fruitberry Mix, 2500 gr, Lot:58622131; Best before... See More date: All dates in May 2024, Country Of Origin: Poland.

Consumers are advised not to eat the recalled product. Businesses are requested to remove the recalled product from sale and to display a point-of-sale recall notice in stores where the affected product was sold. Caterers should not use this product.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: fsai.ie
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The FSAI announced the recall of Fit Foods Breakfast Club Porridge with Mixed Summer Berries by Swift Fine Foods due to the presence of Hepatitis A.

The recalled product is:
- Fit Foods Breakfast Club Porridge with Mixed Summer Berries, 240 g, Use by dates: 26/08/22 and... See More 29/08/22, Country Of Origin: Ireland.

Consumers are advised not to eat the recalled product. Businesses are requested to remove the recalled product from sale and to display a point-of-sale recall notice in stores where the affected product was sold.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: fsai.ie
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The FSAI announced the recall of Ardo Frozen Fruitberry Mix due to the presence of hepatitis A.

The recalled product is:
- Ardo Frozen Fruitberry Mix, 2500 gr, Lot:58622131; Best before date: 31.05.24, Country Of Origin: Poland

Consumers are advised not to eat the recalled product. Businesses... See More are requested to remove the recalled product from sale and to display a point-of-sale recall notice in stores where the affected product was sold. Caterers should not use this product.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: fsai.ie
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I got hepatitis A in the last 2 to 3 months. So sometime between April 15th and June 15th, 2022. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Something else See Less
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Urban Remedy is voluntarily recalling Urban Remedy Organic Revitalizing Tea Tonic Strawberry Hibiscus Rose (LOT 1232 BEST BY 7/17/2022) because it has the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A. Urban Remedy contracts Youngstown Grape Distributors Inc. to co-manufacture this product. The product may contain fresh organic... See More strawberries linked to the FDA outbreak investigation of FreshKampo organic strawberries. The product was sold in a 12oz resealable plastic bottle at various retail stores in CA, NM, VA, CO, WA, OR, CO, NY, PA, AZ, IL, OH, MD, WI, TX, WY, MO, ME, KY, MI, NC, MA, NE, and UT states between 5/17/2022 – 5/29/2022.

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that can cause liver disease. A Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. In rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or are immune compromised, Hepatitis A infections can progress to liver failure. Illness usually occurs within 15 to 50 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection include fever, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine or pale stool. In some instances, particularly in children under the age of six, Hepatitis A infection may be asymptomatic.

Persons who may have purchased the affected product do not consume, if consumed consult your health care provider or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate and consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health providers or the local health department immediately. No illnesses have been reported consuming Urban Remedy product to date.

UPC: 813377025831
Description: Urban Remedy Organic Revitalizing Tea Tonic Strawberry Hibiscus Rose
Lot Number: 1232 Best By 7/17/2022
Product Size: 12oz

In case you are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Company name: Urban Remedy
Brand name: Urban Remedy
Product recalled: Organic Revitalizing Tea Tonic Strawberry Hibiscus Rose
Reason of the recall: Potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A.
FDA Recall date: June 05, 2022

Source: fda.gov
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The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the United States and Canada potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo and HEB, purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022.

Currently, the... See More potentially affected FreshKampo and HEB products are past shelf life. These products were sold Nationwide at the following retailers, including, but not limited to: Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Markets, WinCo Foods.

As of May 28, 2022, a total of 17 people infected with Hepatitis A have been reported from CA (15), MN (1), ND (1). 12 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Illness onset dates range from March 28 – April 30, 2022. The investigation is ongoing.

People who purchased FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them. If you are unsure of what brand you purchased, when you purchased your strawberries, or where you purchased them from prior to freezing them, the strawberries should be thrown away.

If you are experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms like fever, jaundice, nausea, clay-colored stool, dark urine, malaise, abdominal discomfort, or vomiting, it is important to report it. It can help to detect and resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

Source: fda.gov
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