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Frozen strawberries linked to hepatitis A outbreak shipped to 8 central Indiana restaurants

Posted at 3:31 PM, Nov 15, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana State Department of Health says frozen strawberries linked to a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A were distributed to eight restaurants in Marion, Hamilton and Hendricks counties.

According to the Marion County Health Department, El Rey Del Taco at 3925 N. High School Rd., and Don Marcos Ice Cream and Restaurant at 4779 N. Post Rd. both served the recalled strawberries. They are no longer using them.

Hendricks County Health Department officials are not releasing the names of the affected restaurants.  Instead, they are asking anyone who may have eaten strawberries at a restaurant in the county over the past two weeks to call the Health Department's Nursing Division at (317) 745-9222. You will be asked what restaurant you visited, and they will confirm whether or not you may have been exposed.

We are still waiting to hear from Hamilton County about which restaurants there served the recalled strawberries.  In the meantime, anyone who may have eaten strawberries at Hamilton County restaurant since Nov.1 should contact their local health department for more information.

Anyone who may have been exposed before Nov. 1 should contact their doctor to determine whether testing for hepatitis A is appropriate.

People who may have been exposed to hepatitis A within the last two weeks can receive a vaccine, depending on their age, to help prevent infection.

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that inflames the liver. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the eyes)

Symptoms of hepatitis A can take up to 50 days to appear after exposure. Not everyone infected will exhibit symptoms, but all infected people can transmit the disease to others through contact with stool or unwashed hands.

The current investigation into imported frozen strawberries is the most recent development in a national recall that began in January.

RELATED | 40 cases of hepatitis A linked to smoothie chain

The FDA initially issued the recall in association with strawberry smoothies but expanded the scope of the recall as it discovered that additional products were affected.

The ISDH was notified on November 8 that the strawberries affected by the recall were distributed in Indiana. Authorities say they immediately began to check with local health departments to determine when and how the strawberries were distributed. More counties could be identified as their investigation continues.

According to state health officials, no strawberries were shipped to Indiana schools or nursing homes.

Please click here for more information on the recall. Facilities that may have received affected strawberries in the last two weeks are urged to contact their local health department.