USA – Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Enoki Mushrooms (November 2022)

FDA

FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to enoki mushrooms. FDA has identified imported enoki mushrooms distributed by Utopia Foods, Inc. of Glendale, New York as a likely source of illnesses in this outbreak. Enoki mushrooms are long thin white mushrooms, usually sold in clusters. They are especially popular in East Asian cuisine and are also known as enokitake, golden needle, futu, seafood, or lily mushrooms.

As of November 17, 2022, CDC reports two illnesses included in this outbreak. Based on epidemiological information provided by CDC, both patients report consuming enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items containing enoki mushrooms prior to becoming ill.

Through ongoing sampling efforts, FDA and state partners have been collecting and testing samples of enoki mushrooms. An import sample of enoki mushrooms branded as Utopia Foods, Inc. was collected by FDA and was reported as being positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis determined that the strain of Listeria found in this sample matches the strain of Listeria linked to illnesses in this outbreak.

As a result of this testing, Utopia Foods, Inc. voluntarily expanded their original recall (first issued on December 13, 2022) to include their 200g packages of “Enoki Mushrooms”, imported from China, with clear and blue plastic packages with clear markings of “Best before 03/02/2023” or “Best before 03.09.23”. These products were distributed between January 6, 2023, and January 13, 2023, in NY, NJ, and CT to wholesale companies for further distribution.

On December 13, 2022, as a result of earlier testing that determined enoki mushroom product was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, Utopia Foods Inc. issued a voluntary recall of 200g packages of “Enoki Mushrooms”, imported from China and shipped nationwide. The Listeria detected in their product at that time has not been linked to this outbreak or any reported illnesses.

FDA’s investigation is ongoing to determine a potential source of contamination and whether any other products are contaminated or linked to illnesses. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not eat, sell, or serve recalled enoki mushrooms from Utopia Foods, Inc. and should return them to the place of purchase for a refund or throw them away.

Listeria is especially harmful if you are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments. If you are in any of these groups, do not eat raw enoki mushrooms. Cook enoki mushrooms thoroughly to kill any foodborne germs. Other people can be infected with Listeria, but they rarely become seriously ill.

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms after eating enoki mushrooms:

  • People who are not pregnant usually have fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. They may also get a headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures.
  • Pregnant people usually have fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. However, Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. It can also cause serious illness or death in newborns.

Follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice and use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these recalled products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, including retailers who stored or repackaged recalled enoki mushrooms. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.


Recalled Product

Enoki Mushrooms - Listeria monocytogenes

Utopia Foods Inc of Glendale, NY, is recalling its 200g packages of “Enoki Mushrooms”, imported from China. The recalled products were distributed nationwide in produce wholesale companies. The product comes in clear and blue plastic package with brand name “Utopia” and barcode # 8928918610017 marked on the packaging. The initial recall includes all products within expiration and the expanded recall includes products with clear markings of “Best before 03/02/2023” or “Best before 03.09.23”. Products included in the expanded recall were distributed between January 6, 2023, and January 13, 2023.


Case Count Map Provided by CDC

CDC Case Count Map - Enoki Mushrooms - Listeria monocytogenes

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 2
Hospitalizations: 2
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: October 8, 2022
States with Cases: MI, NV
Product Distribution: Nationwide

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