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article imageHepatitis A: Scallops in Hawaii and strawberries in Virginia

By Karen Graham     Aug 19, 2016 in Food
With the Hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii being solved, another outbreak of the virus in Virginia is making the news, but this time, it's strawberries used to create strawberry smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafes.
To bring everyone up to date on the Hawaii Hepatitis A outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Friday that testing had found the virus in scallops produced in the Philippines. There are now 206 laboratory-confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in Hawaii.
The products, frozen Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen), are produced by Suba Basbas, Philippines-based De Oro Resources Inc. and distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and True World Foods. While the products were not sold directly to consumers, they were distributed to restaurants and retailers in California, Hawaii and Nevada.
It should be noted that De Oro has already received an import refusal in April this year from the FDA on scallops that health regulators have described to be "unfit for food consumption."
Hepatitis A found in imported strawberries in Virginia
The Virginia State Department of Health confirmed on Friday that 10 people have been infected with Hepatitis A after dining at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across the Commonwealth, according to WTVR Richmond.
In the alert released on Friday, the health department said that "evidence suggests that frozen strawberries imported from Egypt may be associated with the Hepatitis A outbreak.
The alert also says that Tropical Smoothie restaurants across the Commonwealth have pulled the products sourced from Egypt beginning on August 6th. They point out that other restaurants may also have received the frozen strawberries imported from Egypt.
Anyone who consumed a smoothie made with the strawberries between Aug. 5 through Aug. 8 should check with their doctor and make sure they are vaccinated. Actually, anyone who has consumed a smoothie at the restaurant in the past 50 days should be on the lookout for symptoms of the virus because it has a long incubation period.
Officials at VDH say they are working with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this ongoing investigation.
More about Hepatitis A, imported foods, scallops, Strawberries, Virginia
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