Cause Being Investigated for Contaminated Strawberries Leading to Hepatitis A Outbreak

Food recalls can be the result of improper handling of products during any part of the supply chain process, whether it be the purchasing of raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of the finished product and the results can be catastrophic to both the manufacturer/supplier and the consumer.

On August 8th, Tropical Smoothie Café recalled frozen strawberries from their restaurants that were purchased from an Egyptian supplier after contamination reports of Hepatitis A. 1So far, over 80 people who drank smoothies from the chain of stores, have been affected in seven states (Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). 145% of those victims were hospitalized due to the seriousness of the infection, higher than the typical 20% hospitalization rate for Hepatitis A. 2With symptoms appearing as long as 50 days after ingestion, more reports are expected.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus and can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several (up to 6) months.” 3There are nearly 3,000 cases of the highly contagious virus a year with symptoms including “jaundice, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.” 3,4

The Food and Drug Administration has advised that it has “increased surveillance of imported strawberries as a result of this outbreak investigation and will provide more information as it becomes available.” 2

If you are a shipper who is concerned about the safety of your food products, Road Scholar Transport is the carrier you have been looking for.  We help protect your freight from theft and contamination concerns during transport by providing:

*Aluminum floor trailers, which can help prevent contamination built up on wooden flooring over time, creating a more sanitary environment for your products.

*Regular sweeps on all trailers to ensure that your freight is being transported in a clean, and therefore safe, environment.

*Record of what was inside the trailer before your freight, before that, within the last month, and so on, as well as what has been transported since the last time the trailer was cleaned.

*Reefer tracking with the ability to adjust the trailer’s temperature remotely from our headquarters, complete with unlimited user-defined temperature alerts as well as displaying the history of the temperature inside the trailer (even months after delivery) to ensure that your freight was transported under the proper conditions.

*Electronic Door Monitoring:  Displaying the time of every door opening/closure, alerting of any suspicious activity.

*Up to the minute tracking and multi-dimensional asset tracking (tractor, trailer, and communication device)

*Geo-Fencing capability (route or facility specific)

Learn more about how Road Scholar can keep your food products safe at http://www.roadscholar.com/foodservice/.

 

1http://www.today.com/health/smoothies-link-hepatitis-cases-reminder-frozen-foods-not-always-safe-t102409

2https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/fda-collaborates-with-egypt-on-strawberry-hepatitis-a-outbreak/

3https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/pdfs/hepageneralfactsheet.pdf

4http://www.greenprophet.com/2016/09/egyptian-strawberries-linked-to-us-hepatitis-a-outbreak-over-80-sick/