Consumers advised that recent hepatitis A outbreaks have been associated with green onions
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Consumers advised that recent hepatitis A outbreaks have been associated with green onions

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      Saturday, November 15, 2003, 19:28 EST (7:28 PM EST) CDCHAN-00164-03-11-15-ADV-N Message Retransmitted from FDA The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) is advising the public that several recent hepatitis A outbreaks have been associated with eating raw or undercooked green onions (scallions). Hepatitis A is a liver disease that develops within 6 weeks of an 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. Hepatitis A outbreaks associated with raw or undercooked green onions served in restaurants occurred in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia in September. Another outbreak of hepatitis A among patrons of a single restaurant occurred in Pennsylvania during late October and early November, although the source of the outbreak has not yet been determined. CDC and the State of Pennsylvania have an investigation underway to determine if a specific food is associated with the Pennsylvania outbreak, and if so, the exact source. The source of the green onions in the Tennessee outbreak is Mexico. FDA is continuing to investigate and is working with Mexican authorities to assess appropriate measures. FDA, CDC and the States are actively investigating the outbreaks in an attempt to determine the exact source of the green onions associated with the outbreaks and how they became contaminated, so that corrective action can be taken.
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