The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report stating that 89 Americans who were infected with hepatitis in the United States had drunken smoothies that contained strawberries imported from Egypt.
The report asserted that nearly all ill people reported drinking a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café in the month before the illness started, in which the Egyptian strawberries were used.
Subsequently, Tropical Smoothie Café reported that it stopped using Egyptian frozen strawberries in their branches in Virginia and neighbouring states by 8 August. Additionally, on 19 August, the firm reported that they removed Egyptian frozen strawberries from all cafés nationwide.
“As of September 8, 2016, CDC reports 89 people with hepatitis A linked to this outbreak have been reported from 7 states (MD, NC, NY, OR, VA, WI and WV). Among people with available information, 39 people have been hospitalised. Nearly all ill people reported drinking a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café,” the report read.
The FDA stressed in its report that investigation into the source and distribution of the strawberries is ongoing, and that it has been in touch with the Egyptian International Health Regulations National Focal Point to discuss the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Russian Agricultural Supervisory Authority declared on Tuesday that it may impose temporary restrictions on importing Egyptian agricultural products with high health hazards from Egypt.
“In spite of numerous appeals addressed to the Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture, the Egyptian side did not take the appropriate measures to correct the matter,” the statement read.