The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is warning consumers not to eat enoki mushrooms produced by Shandong Youhe Biotechnology Co Ltd. in Shandong Province, China, because they have been traced to an outbreak of Listeria infections.

Samples collected and tested by MDH in early January were positive for Listeria that matches an ongoing outbreak. MDH is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other states to investigate the source of the contamination. 

This product is linked to the ongoing recall of enoki mushrooms that was issued by Utopia Foods Inc of Glendale, NY,  on Dec. 13, 2022, and expanded Jan. 13, 2023. The Utopia mushrooms are linked to an outbreak of Listeria infections.

Recalled product:

  • Shandong Youhe Biotechnology Co Ltd’s enoki mushrooms
  • Sold in a 7.05 oz (200g) clear plastic package with a brown and green label

Anyone who has purchased any of these products shoulf throw them away.

In addition, MDH and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following for all other enoki mushrooms:

  • Thoroughly cook enoki mushrooms before serving or consuming them, do not serve or consume them raw.
  • Do not use raw enoki mushrooms as garnish.
  • Do not add raw enoki mushrooms on top of soup dishes right before serving. The enoki mushrooms will not get hot enough to kill Listeria.
  • Keep raw enoki mushrooms separate from foods that won’t be cooked.
  • Wash hands after handling raw enoki mushrooms.

About Listeria infections
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any enoki mushrooms and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the recalled products should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)