4 Deaths and 30 Hospitalizations Linked to Enoki Mushroom Listeria Monocytogene Contamination
On March 9, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall on all Sun Hong Foods brand mushrooms sold in 7.05 oz/ 200g clusters after the detection of Listeria monocytogenes in one of the samples tested in a Michigan food safety lab.
The recalled products are white long-stem and small cap mushrooms sold in clusters. The individual clusters are sold in clear bags with green paneling and Korean labeling on the front. The mushrooms under scrutiny were distributed in white cardboard boxes with 25 count 20g clusters of Enoki mushrooms, each to various retail and grocery stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Illinois, and Florida. A picture of the packing can be viewed here.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there have been cases of illness caused by Listeria monocytogene contamination with Enoki Mushrooms as early as November 23, 2016. This week, the issue reemerged with a total of 36 reported cases, 30 hospitalizations, and 4 deaths linked with the consumption of listeria monocytogene contaminated Enoki Mushrooms from Korea. As of now, no information has been released in relation to the legal claims of the affected persons, although it is likely to come in the proceeding weeks.
Ron Simon, a major National Listeria attorney, explains “when people get listeria, it’s because they have ingested fecal matter in most cases”. Ron Simon believes the contamination of fecal matter in food from foreign suppliers which causes illness and death, “is unacceptable in America.” National Listeria attorney Simon says “we need to be able to rely on a clean, healthy food supply”.
While the FDA, CDC, and other state food safety inspection agencies work to determine the direct source of this contamination, they urge consumers that may already be in possession of the product, to immediately dispose of it or return it to its original place of purchase. Further updates on the recall and investigation of the Sun Hong Foods, Inc. Enoki Mushroom Listeria contamination can be found here.