Tainted Enoki mushrooms have been linked to a three-year listeria outbreak, which has contributed to several deaths and dozens of illnesses across 17 states, according to federal regulators.
The FDA issued an Enoki mushroom recall on March 9, indicating the mushrooms imported from Korea, which were sold by Sun Hong Foods, Inc., have been linked to the multi-state listeria outbreak, which has sent at least 30 individuals to the hospital and may have resulted in four deaths.
The recall comes after the FDA notified Sung Hung foods that samples of the mushrooms tested by the State of Michigan were positive for Listeria monocytogenes, which is a bacteria that can cause life-threatening illness or death. The bacteria can lead to fatal infections in young children, elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.
Otherwise healthy individuals who are sickened by listeria may suffer short-term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. However, for those with a weakened immune system, listeria may cause more severe injury. Approximately 1,600 Americans are sickened by listeria each year, and about 260 deaths are linked to the infections.
Six of the illnesses linked to the mushroom listeria outbreak involved pregnant women, two of whom miscarried.
Enoki mushrooms are white, with long stems and small caps. They are usually sold in clusters and packaged in clear plastic bags with green panels. The label has “Enoki Mushrooms” written in orange font and labeled Net Wt 7.05/200g with UPC code 7 426852 625810. The recalled mushrooms are packaged in a white cardboard box with a 25 count of 200g bags.
They were mainly sold in Asian markets, including J&L Supermarket, Jusgo Supermarket, ZTao Market, New Sang Supermarket, and Galleria Market. The mushrooms were sent to distributors in California, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, and Florida, but could have been sold in a number of other states. Illnesses have been reported in 17 states and the four deaths were reported in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.
Consumers should not eat the mushrooms, even if they don’t look bad or smell spoiled, health experts warn. They can still be contaminated with listeria.
Consumers who have purchased Sun Hong Foods Enoki Mushrooms can return the package to where it was purchased for a full refund. Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the company at 323-597-1112.
Anyone who has experienced side effects or symptoms after eating the mushrooms should contact their doctor immediately.