Tropical Smoothie Hepatitis A Litigation -Multistate (2016)
Marler Clark Hepatitis A Attorneys represented 75 people sickened in this outbreak. Litigation proceeded on Virginia state court.
Several states, CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Tropical Smoothie Café removed contaminated food products as of August 8. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection can take up to 50 days to appear.
134 people with hepatitis A have been reported from nine states: Arkansas (1), California (1), Maryland (12), New York (3), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (107), West Virginia (7), and Wisconsin (1). 52 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated frozen strawberries imported from Egypt were the likely source of this outbreak.
Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. The classic symptom of hepatitis A is jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or the eyes. Other symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools. Symptoms develop 15-50 days after exposure to the virus, which can occur through direct contact with another person who has the infection or by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated with the virus.
Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
It is very important for people who have symptoms of hepatitis A to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service.
Routine vaccination against hepatitis A has reduced the risk of this disease in the past decade. Vaccination is available to anyone, but specifically recommended for all children, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus. Hepatitis A vaccine is available from health care providers (including some pharmacies and travel clinics) to protect against this disease.
All Tropical Smoothie cases were settled in 2019.