15 November 2016

Hepatitis A spread by strawberries in margaritas

Strawberries at three El Paso County restaurants have been connected to a multistate hepatitis A outbreak... strawberries used in margaritas at the restaurants... may have been contaminated with the virus.

Health officials say anyone who ate or drank strawberries at the restaurants should receive hepatitis A vaccinations.

Health officials have connected more than 100 hepatitis A cases to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt since Jan. 1.
Everyone knows to wash commercially-purchased strawberries before eating them, but who would suspect strawberries in margaritas not having been washed.

And it's a strange world we live in where it's cheaper to import strawberries from Egypt than it is to grow them in this country.


  1. Unfortunately washing doesn't eliminate risk of contamination.

  2. Garnishes in bars are seldom washed. That lemon slice has been marinating in an unclean bowl all night long.

  3. The website Food Safety News has been giving updates on the Hepatitis A outbreak but I didn't know about Colorado Springs also being affected. Strawberries in season in the US seem so not so expensive to freeze and store. With Egypt having such a large population it must import food it seems strange that they are exporting some foodstuffs.

  4. In 2013 summer I had a friend coming to visit in Mexico and his doctor suggested a Hep A vaccination. I thought, "WTF?" and looked up outbreaks in Mexico. They were almost non-existent, while the USA had had a handful. Three of the outbreaks had ONE US importer of strawberries involved, whose name I can't remember now. The conclusion of the investigation was - somehow - that it was Mexican strawberries, which was a crock. NO investigation of the cleanliness of the US importer's facilities was undertaken and no actual evidence pointing to the Mexican strawberries was presented. I honestly would suggest that the US importer bought off the investigators.

    I'd be very interested in hearing which importer handled those Egyptian strawberries.


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