Listeria Outbreak Tied to Enoki Mushrooms Has Hospitalized 3 People
But one food has been implicated more than any other over the last year.
We're talking, of course, about enoki mushrooms. The most recalled food of 2022 is making headlines again in the new year for the same reason.
As of January 18, the FDA has found two strains of listeria in a sample of enoki mushrooms sold under the Glendale, N.Y.-based brand Utopia Foods. So far, the strains have been linked to three illnesses in Nevada, Michigan, and most recently, California, with all of the infected individuals requiring hospitalization.
According to the CDC, two of those people reported eating enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items that contained them. Meanwhile, the latest case did not report eating the mushrooms but did acknowledge shopping at Asian grocery stores. The long, thin, white mushrooms are a popular ingredient in East Asian cuisine.
As a result of the sampling efforts carried out by the FDA and state partners, on Jan. 13, Utopia Foods expanded its recall on enoki mushrooms because they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The original recall was first initiated in late November and later expanded on Dec. 13, 2022.
The recall applies to 200 gram packages of Chinese-imported enoki mushrooms that were sold in clear and blue plastic packaging with the barcode "8928918610017." The affected mushrooms, which had "Best Before" dates of 3/2/2023 and 3/9/2023, were shipped between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to produce wholesale companies for additional distribution.
Although product shipment has been suspended, the FDA and Utopia Foods are continuing to investigate the source of the possible contamination.
The FDA urges consumers who still have the mushrooms to return them to their place of purchase for a refund. Those with additional questions about the recall can contact Utopia Foods at (718) 389-8898.
In healthy individuals, symptoms of a listeria infection can include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The CDC notes that although symptoms vary depending on the person, listeria is most likely to sicken people who are pregnant, newborns, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.