A company has recalled its enoki mushroom products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. They were distributed nationwide.
The problem was discovered in Missouri during a routine sampling, which “revealed” the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in 200-gram packages of enoki mushrooms from Utopia Foods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced.
People can develop an infection called listeriosis if they consume foods that are contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. While the infection can cause “short-term symptoms” such as nausea, diarrhea and severe headache in “healthy” people, it can become “serious and sometimes fatal” in certain groups, including young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.
In pregnant women, it can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, premature delivery or a serious infection in the newborn. In fact, pregnant people are said to be 10 times more likely to get a Listeria infection than other people, with Hispanic women at higher risk as they are 24 times more likely to get infected.
“Listeriosis during pregnancy results in fetal loss in about 20% and newborn death in about 3% of cases,” noted the CDC.
There have been no reports of illnesses related to recalled products.
The recall affects Utopia Foods’ 200-gram enoki mushrooms sold in a plastic package with the bar code number 8928918610017. The recalled enoki mushrooms were imported from China. The distribution has since been halted as authorities look into the “source of the problem.”
“All Utopia branded Enoki Mushrooms imported from China and within expiry are affected by the recall,” the FDA announcement read.
Customers who have the affected products should take them back to the place of purchase to get a refund. Those with questions can call the company at 718.389.8898.
About 1,600 people get sick with listeriosis in the U.S. each year.
“CDC estimates that Listeria is the third leading cause of death from foodborne illness, or food poisoning, in the United States,” noted the agency.
Following food safety tips is important in avoiding such illnesses. This includes proper hand washing, avoiding cross-contamination between foods and knowing when to throw out the food.