The Food and Drug Administration is actively investigating a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms. The mushrooms were distributed by Utopia Foods, Inc. nationwide.
Enoki mushrooms are long and thin white mushrooms, usually sold in bundles. They are widely used in East Asian cuisine and are also known as enokitake, golden needle, futu, seafood or lily mushrooms.
The original recall was recently expanded to include 200-kilogram packs of enoki mushrooms distributed from January 6 through January 13, 2023 to wholesale companies in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The affected packages were imported from China and have clear and blue plastic packaging with clear markings of "Best before 03/02/2023" or "Best before 03.09.23."
As of January 18, there have been reports of three illnesses and hospitalizations in California, Nevada and Michigan connected to the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two of these cases reported eating enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items containing enoki mushrooms, whereas the other case did not report eating enoki mushrooms but noted to have been "shopping at various Asian grocery stores."
Common symptoms for Listeria infection include fever, muscle aches and tiredness. Other symptoms include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or seizures in more extreme cases.
While Listeria is not typically life-threatening, it can be especially harmful if you are pregnant, age 65 or older or have a compromised immune system due to a medical condition or treatment. Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth and can cause life-threatening illness or death in newborns.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms after eating enoki mushrooms, call your health care provider as soon as possible. Listeria can survive at refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces, so carefully follow the FDA's safe handling and cleaning procedures if your kitchen may be contaminated.