Hepatitis A was in Green Onions (cont.)

As FDA investigates the sources of products implicated in foodborne outbreaks, FDA is always concerned with the monitoring of worker health, water quality, and sanitary conditions.

FDA and the Mexican government are working together on an ongoing basis with regard to technical issues arising from the process of investigating all possible sources of implicated products in foodborne outbreaks. The FDA and Mexican health and agriculture authorities are engaged in a joint effort to ensure the safety of Mexican produce entering the United States and improving the health of citizens on both sides of the border.

FDA is pleased to know, as Dr. Javier Trujillo, Undersecretary of Food Safety and Quality indicated, that the Government of Mexico is already well along in implementing a program of inspecting growers on a regular proactive basis by region so that problems can be prevented before they arise.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that develops within 2-6 weeks after exposure. Hepatitis A is usually mild and characterized by jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin), fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and fever. It can occasionally be severe, especially in people with liver disease. Persons infected with Hepatitis A virus, in particular children, may have no symptoms or very mild symptoms.

Hepatitis A virus sequences from persons who became ill in the outbreaks in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania were identical or very similar to sequences observed among persons with Hepatitis A living along the United States-Mexico border and travelers returning from Mexico, consistent with a source in Mexico.

Source: Statement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (www.fda.gov/)

Last Editorial Review: 12/10/2003