Geoff McDonald & Associates wins the biggest settlement for Virginia in 2020 for $38.2 Million. Click for details.

Hepatitis A Cases in Virginia Linked to Popular Smoothie Chain

Aug 26, 2016 | Consumer Alerts

A recent string of Hepatitis A cases in Virginia may be linked to strawberries from popular chain Tropical Smoothie Café. A local NBC affiliate reports that frozen strawberries sourced from Egypt may be to blame, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Tropical Smoothie Café pulled all strawberries from Egypt used in their stores, both in Virginia and elsewhere. Health officials also caution that other frozen strawberries from Egypt could be contaminated, not just those from the smoothie chain.

The Department of Health is urging anyone who consumed a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Café within the last 50 days to stay alert to symptoms of Hepatitis A. In particular, they believe smoothies consumed on August 5-8 may be at risk. A Hepatitis A vaccination can still be effective up to two weeks after exposure, so those at risk should consider getting vaccinated if they are not already.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain, especially on the right side
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

These symptoms may not present until several weeks after exposure. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that is most often contracted through contaminated food or water. Although most cases are mild and do not cause permanent damage to the liver, it is important to seek treatment if you think you may have contracted the virus as some cases can be more severe.

Those who have already been vaccinated for Hepatitis A are not at risk.

Tropical Smoothie Café has now removed all frozen strawberries sourced from Egypt, and the restaurant is not considered to be a risk currently. Virginians should remain alert, however, to any restaurants using frozen strawberries.

Tropical Smoothie Café’s full statement is below:

“Tropical Smoothie Cafe was notified by the Virginia Department of Health about several foodborne illnesses in the state linked to frozen strawberries sourced from Egypt. Our cafes and their food handling practices have not been implicated in any way – the health department believes this is a single product issue (strawberries) sourced from Egypt. Egyptian strawberries represent a fraction of our overall strawberries purchased, and were predominantly distributed to stores in the Virginia market. Today, our strawberries are primarily sourced from Mexico and California. However, in an abundance of caution, we voluntarily pulled all strawberries sourced from Egypt from every cafe in our system, not only the Virginia cafes. Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our guests and crew members and we will continue to cooperate with the health authorities.”

As of Friday, the total number of reported cases has risen to 35, including cases in both Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. At least two lawsuits have been filed against Tropical Smoothie Café alleging negligence in sourcing ingredients from countries that have less stringent food safety requirements, including Egypt.

A spokesperson from the Alexandria health department stated that it can be difficult to determine the exact origins of the virus due to its long incubation period. People may not remember exactly what or where they ate several weeks before they started experiencing symptoms.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 866-369-9051.

FREE CONSULTATION

No Fees Unless We Win





    Vaping and the E-Cigarette Industry; A National Epidemic

    Sleek and minimalist in the design, with a wide variety of flavors and portable chargers able to be discretely plugged into USB-ports; there’s an undeniable convenience behind the technology that fuels ‘vaping’ and the booming e-cigarette industry. Initially promoted...

    Mold Illness: Know the Facts About Toxic Mold

    If there is a mold problem in your home, school, or work place, it can cause serious illness. Children, the elderly, and those with allergies and asthma are most at risk, but anyone can suffer from toxic mold syndrome (TMS). But did you know there are different types...

    Mold Exposure Damages Claims in Virginia

    Mold growth inside living spaces is unhealthy. Apartments, schools, work spaces, offices, and homes that lack proper ventilation and have chronic, undetected (or sudden accidental) water leaks create a damp indoor space that can cause health problems resulting from...

    PCB Exposure Claims Lawyer

    Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a very serious type of blood cancer that attacks white blood cells in the body and frequently develops in the lymph nodes. There is strong scientific evidence that this type of cancer can be caused by workplace exposure to dangerous chemicals...

    Our Case Results

    $4,700,000
    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    $1,750,000
    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    $1,250,000
    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    $860,000
    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    $700,000
    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald