According to a posting on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, The International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing (ICAPP) has announced that it is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its frozen strawberries out of, what the company is calling "an abundance of caution" in response to an FDA investigation of a hepatitis A outbreak.
ICAPP said the recalled products were all distributed for sale to and use in food service establishments nationwide, and pointed out that the products are not for use in food products offered for retail sale to consumers.
Nontheless, the company posted a press release "to help mitigate any possible risk to the public health and to fully ensure that all recalled products are recovered".
The company said that no other ICAPP products, frozen or fresh, are covered by this voluntary recall.
ICAPP said that although none of their own testing through an established surveillance program or through third party testing of retained samples has identified the presence of Hepatitis A in any of its products, out of an "abundance of caution", they decided to recall frozen strawberries that it has imported into the United States since January 1, 2016.
"ICAPP is conducting this voluntary recall after learning that frozen strawberries that it distributed may be linked to a recent Hepatitis A outbreak in the United States. ICAPP has been engaged with FDA in its investigation of this outbreak and is taking this action in consultation with FDA because Hepatitis A virus was detected in four lots of frozen strawberries that were exported to the U.S. by ICAPP. ICAPP is working closely with all of the U.S. distributors of this product to ensure that this recall is effective." the company posted on the FDA website.
Hepatitis A is a contagious disease of the liver, and can be transmitted via food. The virus may cause mild illnesses that last for weeks to severe illness that can last for months.
People often become sick within 15 days of exposure to the virus. Hepatitis A symptoms include:
- abdominal pain
- abnormal liver tests
- dark urine
- pale stool
Hepatitis A can usually be prevented if people exposed to the virus get vaccinated within two weeks of exposure to contaminated food.
But in rare cases, Hepatitis A can cause liver failure; people most susceptible to Hepatitis A related liver failure tend to have a pre-existing illness or weakened immune systems.
ICAPP recommends that who may have eaten affected product should consult with their health care professional or local health department to determine if they should get vaccinated. They also asked consumers who have symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact a health care provider or local health department right away.
ICAPP posted on the FDA website that it "is fully committed to producing safe and high quality products; consumer safety is its top priority. ICAPP is conducting a comprehensive review of all of its operations and its suppliers to ensure that the food it produces is safe. ICAPP continues to work closely with federal and state authorities and is conducting this recall in cooperation with FDA."
For questions or more information, consumers may contact ICAPP by email at [email protected] or by phone, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Cairo local time, at +201-541-1624.
For information about the FDA’s outbreak investigation go to http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm518775.htm .
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"ICAPP Voluntarily Recalls Certain Lots of Frozen Strawberries Due To Possible Hepatitis Health Risk" copyright © 2016 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.