CDC Tells Public To Avoid Popular Mushrooms Over Deadly Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed a new Listeria outbreak that has been linked back to a popular type of mushroom called 'enoki.' Unlike many types of edible mushrooms, enoki feature long white stems and very small caps. The public is told to throw away any of the recalled products they may have purchased, among other things.

Listeria is a bacterial foodborne illness that is most commonly contracted from eating contaminated foods like deli meats. Though this illness isn't quite as common as E. coli, it can be more deadly and it is a serious condition when it impacts pregnant women. At this point in time, the CDC says that 36 people have contracted Listeria from these mushrooms and four have died.

The outbreak has been linked back to enoki mushrooms sold by a South Korean company called Sun Hong Foods; the recalled products feature the UPC "7 426852 625810," have green packaging, and are sold in 7.05oz / 200g weights.

The company recalled these products on March 9; consumers are told to throw away any of these mushrooms they purchased and to wash any surfaces that may have come into contact with them. The CDC notes that Listeria bacteria is able to survive even in a refrigerator and that it can be spread to other foods and surfaces.

As of March 9, 36 confirmed cases were reported in 17 states from late November to mid-December 2019. Of those 36 cases, 30 of them required hospitalization, six involved pregnant women, and two of the pregnancies resulted in miscarriages. The CDC is still looking into whether any other products may be linked to this outbreak.