The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recall of imported Enoki mushrooms after state tests were positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Guan’s Mushroom Co. is reportedly recalling all cases of Enoki mushrooms sold in 200g/7.05 ounce packages. The mushrooms are imported from Korea and then distributed in cases containing 25 packages each.
Enoki Mushroom Recall Information
In March 2020, routine tests conducted by the State of California found positive results for Listeria monocytogenes in a package of Guan’s Enoki mushrooms. Guan’s is located in Commerce, California. Distribution was immediately suspended and the product was later recalled.
Guan’s distributes their Enoki Mushroom packages to wholesalers and produce distributors in California, New York and Pennsylvania. These distributors may have further distributed the mushrooms to other customers. According to the FDA recall announcement, consumers can identify the mushrooms subject to this Listeria recall by the following:
- Clear 200g/7.05 ounce package with the Guan’s logo on it
- “Enoki Mushroom” on the label in English, French and Korean
- UPC: 859267007013
- Package code 14-1 on the lower right corner of the package
Anyone who has Guan’s Enoki Mushrooms should return them to their place of purchase for a refund.
Dangers of Listeria Contamination
Listeria monocytogenes, more commonly referred to simply as listeria, is a bacterium that can cause foodborne illness. It is less common than Salmonella or E. Coli, but can be dangerous if not properly diagnosed and treated. Generally, healthy individuals experience mild symptoms and recover without incident. In such cases, symptoms of listeria infection, or listeriosis, may include:
- Muscle aches
Some people are more likely to experience more severe symptoms of listeriosis. Vulnerable populations include the elderly, children and pregnant women. For pregnant women, there is also a risk of complications, including stillbirth or miscarriage.
People who have a weak immune system may also experience a more severe illness. In these cases, symptoms may progress and the illness may become invasive. In rare cases, the illness invades the nervous system, which causes symptoms including:
- Mental confusion
- Lack of alertness
- Difficulty balancing
- Neck stiffness
Individuals most likely to suffer the most severe effects of listeriosis are those with underlying conditions, such as kidney disorder, diabetes, liver disease or AIDS. Individuals who are undergoing cancer treatment or who use medications that lower the immune system are also at a higher risk.
How is Listeria Treated?
How listeria infection is treated depends on a variety of factors, such as the patient’s overall health, the severity of the illness and the symptoms they are experiencing. Given these variables, treatment options may include the following:
- Generally healthy individuals often do not require medical intervention. Rest and proper hydration is all many people need to recover.
- If listeriosis spreads to the brain or bloodstream, doctors may prescribe an antibiotic. These are generally given intravenously, with complete treatment lasting for several weeks.
- For pregnant women, treatment may include antibiotics to help protect the unborn baby. If the mother is treated for listeriosis, then her newborn may also receive antibiotics once he or she is born.
Tips for Preventing Listeria Infection
While there may be no way of knowing that you ate something contaminated with listeria, there are some general things that you can do to prevent listeria infection. These include food safety measures, such as:
- Wash all raw fruit and vegetables thoroughly
- Make sure that raw meat is separate from fruit, vegetables or ready-to-eat foods
- Cook meat thoroughly to the proper internal temperature
- Use lunchmeat or hotdogs within seven days of opening the package
- Wash your hands after handling any raw fruit, vegetables or meat
- Wash all utensils and knives used to prepare food thoroughly
- Make sure that your refrigerator and freezer are adequate temperatures to keep food safe
By using good food sense and hygiene, you can reduce the risk of consuming bacterium, germs and viruses that may linger on food products.