Hepatitis A Linked to Strawberry Smoothies

strawberries and Hepatitis A
Food Safety Contamination

A string of cases of Hepatitis A outbreaks in Virginia may actually be linked to strawberry smoothies from a certain cafe, officials have stated. [1]

The outbreak could be linked to the chain Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Virginia. Genetic testing reveals that the disease is the same that caused past issues via Egyptian strawberries. The chain has recalled them and has found another source for their fruit.

The chain, which also operates outside of Virginia, has asked that all of their cafes nationally cease using the Egyptian strawberries immediately. They maintain that their food handling practices is in no way a cause of the outbreak, and that the outbreak is all down to the problematic strawberries.

The Virginia Department of Health warns that anyone who has had a strawberry smoothie from any Tropical Cafe should monitor themselves, or their children, for possible symptoms of Hepatitis A.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include, according to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom:

  • feeling tired and generally unwell
  • joint and muscle pain
  • a mild fever – usually no higher than 102.2F
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling or being sick
  • pain in the upper-right part of your abdomen
  • a headache, sore throat and cough
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • a raised, itchy rash (hives)

Symptoms can last for a few days up to several weeks.

And while the NHS states the Hepatitis A isn’t necessarily serious, there are some things to look out for in case it becomes serious. These symptoms include:

  • sudden, severe vomiting
  • a tendency to bruise and bleed easily (for example, frequent nosebleeds or bleeding gums)
  • irritability
  • problems with memory and concentration
  • drowsiness and confusion


[1] Washington Post