Enoki Mushroom Listeria Outbreak Investigation Officially Closed
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced the official closure of the enoki mushroom listeria outbreak investigation on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. After an extensive investigation, the multistate listeria outbreak has been linked with Green Co, LTD. of the Republic of Korea. Enoki mushrooms are long, thin, and white mushrooms, traditionally used in Eastern Asian cuisine, and typically sold in clusters. Enoki mushrooms are also referred to under the other traditional names, enokitake, golden needle, futu, or lily mushrooms.
The enoki mushrooms produced by Green Co, LTD. first came into question when they were found to be a common factor between various people who fell ill after eating them, as early as March, 2020. After various samples were collected by local and state health departments for food safety testing, several of them were confirmed to be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Once the contamination was discovered, product recalls were published by the various suppliers of grocery and retails stores which sold the concerned enoki mushrooms. The grocery and retail stores’ suppliers include, Sun Hong Foods, Inc., Guan’s Mushroom Co., and H&C Food, Inc.
Listeriosis is a serious illness that is caused by the consumption of food or drink which has been contaminated with a type of bacteria known as listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis presents the most danger to those with weakened immune systems. It is uncommon for otherwise healthy individuals to experience a severe onset of listeriosis. While pregnant women who contract listeriosis will generally experience mild symptoms, the infection can become invasive and attack the child in utero, oftentimes leading to misscarriage.
Due to the prolonged nature of the recall, the FDA and CDC have announced that all previously produced enoki mushrooms from Green Co, LTD. of the Republic of Korea are now past their shelf life and no longer available for purchase. Consequently, they have declared the outbreak officially over. Nevertheless, people are encouraged to continue to exercise caution by sanitizing any surfaces which may have come into contact with the recalled product, as listeria monocytogenes can survive in cool temperatures for extended amounts of time.