On February 23, 2022, Golden Medal Mushroom Inc. recalled its Enoki Mushrooms due to a concern that they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Golden Medal Mushroom recalled all of its cases of 200g/7.05-ounce packages and 150g/5.25-ounce packages of Enoki Mushrooms. As of January 4, 2022, the products of concern had already been distributed to various wholesalers and retail stores in Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, and Dallas, Texas. The distribution of this product has since been suspended.
All of the recalled Golden Medal Enoki Mushrooms are contained in 200g/7.05-ounce packages with the UPC number: 6953150100684 and in the 150g/5.25-ounce packages with the UPC number: 6953150110157. The Enoki Mushrooms are packaged in vacuum sealed plastic bags that are labeled as a “Product of China”. The lot number of the recalled Enoki Mushrooms is 300511.
The concern of contamination arose when the presence of Listeria monocytogenes was detected in a 200-gram package of Golden Medal Mushroom brand Enoki Mushrooms, during a routine testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. To date, there have been no cases of illnesses linked to the consumption of the recalled Golden Medal Mushroom brand Enoki Mushrooms.
Since 2020, there have been a significant number of Enoki Mushroom recalls related to Listeria monocytogene contamination. In April of 2020, Enoki mushrooms produced in Korea were the source of several recalls announced by different produce distributors in the U.S., such as Sun Hong Foods Inc. In 2021, more recalls were put in place by produce distributors, such as Concord Farms and Guan’s Mushroom Co, in connection to Enoki Mushrooms produced in both Korea and China. Just this year, there have been several recalls of Enoki Mushrooms produced in China, Taiwan, and Korea.
Listeria monocytogenes are a type of bacteria which can cause moderate to severe gastrointestinal illness. While healthy individuals typically are able to recover within a short time frame, they may suffer symptoms such as a high fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, young children, elderly people, or those with otherwise weakened immune symptoms can develop life-threatening complications related to Listeria infection. Additionally, Listeria can lead to miscarriages or stillbirths in expectant mothers.
The recurrence of Listeria contamination of Enoki Mushrooms produced in Korea, China, and Taiwan and distributed to U.S. produce stores is a serious concern and calls for a reassessment of the current standards of inspection of foreign food products, especially our produce.