Utopia Foods, Inc., issued a voluntary recall after their imported Chinese enoki mushrooms tested positive for 2 strains of Listeria monocytogenes involved in an outbreak.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections found to be linked to enoki mushrooms distributed by Utopia Foods, Inc., of Glendale, New York.
The enoki mushrooms were imported from China and labeled as “Producer: Shandong Youhe Biotechnology, Co.,” and “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc." Utopia Foods, Inc. issued a voluntary recall after 2 strains of Listeria monocytogenes were detected on these enoki mushrooms.
The FDA recommends consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not sell, eat, or serve the recalled enoki mushrooms from Utopia Foods. The products tested positive for 2 strains of Listeria monocytogenes and were determined via Whole Genome Sequencing to be the cause of all 3 illnesses in this outbreak.
Enoki mushrooms that are not recalled or potentially contaminated should be cooked thoroughly to kill any foodborne pathogens.
Listeria is especially harmful to individuals who are pregnant, 65 years or older, or have a weakened immune system due to medical conditions or treatments. These people should contact a health care provider after eating enoki mushrooms if they experience fever, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Symptoms for pregnant persons may also include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or seizures. Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth, it may also cause serious illness or death in newborns.
Enoki mushrooms are long thin white mushrooms, sold in clusters and popular in East Asian cuisine. The Utopia Foods products that tested positive are sold in a 7.05-oz (200 g) clear plastic container with a brown and green label.
On December 17, 2022, the FDA issued a safety alert for enoki mushrooms labeled “Distributed By: Sun Hong Foods, Inc.,” after a product sample collected in Missouri tested positive for 1 of the 2 Listeria monocytogenes strains later linked to illnesses.
On January 17, 2023, the FDA reported a positive import sample of enoki mushrooms that matched both Listeria strains in the outbreak, at which time Utopia Foods issued the voluntary recall expansion.
The FDA, CDC, and state and local partners are continuing the investigation to determine a potential cause of contamination, as well as whether any other products are contaminated or linked to illnesses. “Additional information will be provided as it becomes available,” the FDA stated.