Mushrooms sold in Massachusetts and New York have been linked to a listeria outbreak that has been plaguing parts of the nation.
Testing conducted by disease investigators at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has led to the expansion of a national recall of Enoki mushrooms after two packages investigators purchased tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
California-based Guan’s Mushroom Co. announced over the weekend that it was recalling all packages of its Enoki mushrooms and suspending national distribution after tests conducted at the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory by staff from DPH’s Food Laboratory came back positive for Listeria.
The Enoki mushrooms that were recalled come in a clear plastic package with the description “Enoki Mushroom” in English, Korean, and French, with Guan’s logo on the front.
On the back, there is a UPC code. For the 100g/3.5-ounce, the code is “859267007020” and code “810023170303” is for the 200g/7-ounce.
According to officials, “the State Public Health Laboratory’s findings highlighted the presence of this organism in the company’s mushroom product found on store shelves in Massachusetts.”
“This outcome of our food surveillance testing demonstrates how public health in Massachusetts works to protect the food supply and enable consumers to purchase products and dine out with confidence,” Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said.
The company said the recalled products were distributed to retail stores nationwide from produce distributors in California, New York, and Pennsylvania
According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, those with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and their newborns.
Less commonly, others outside those risk groups are affected.
“Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
"An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.”
Listeria affects approximately 1,600 Americans each year, killing around 260, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most people suffer only spiking fever, stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.
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