News and Stories

FOOD SAFETY UPDATE: Outbreak of Listeria Infections Linked to Enoki Mushrooms

March 10, 2020

This update does not apply to any Markon First Crop, Ready-Set-Serve, or Markon Essentials products.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to enoki mushrooms. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that enoki mushrooms labeled as “Product of Korea” are the likely source of this outbreak. This investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness.

  • CDC advises consumers, food service operators, and retailers to not eat, serve, or sell any enoki mushrooms distributed by Sun Hong Foods, Inc.
  • Until CDC learn more about the source and distribution of the enoki mushrooms, CDC advises that people at higher risk for Listeria infections avoid eating any enoki mushrooms labeled as “Product of Korea”. People at higher risk of Listeria infection include pregnant women, adults ages 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer or on dialysis. 

What we know:

  • 36 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 17 states
    • 30 hospitalizations have been reported
    • Four deaths have been reported from California, Hawaii, and New Jersey
    • Six pregnancy-associated cases have been reported, of which two resulted in fetal loss
  • Illnesses started on dates ranging from November 23, 2016 to December 13, 2019
  • On March 9, 2020, Sun Hong Foods, Inc. recalled enoki mushrooms because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria
  • Enoki mushrooms from Sun Hong Foods were sold in 7.05 oz / 200 g clear plastic packaging with a green label
  • “Product of Korea” is labeled on the front of the packaging, and “Sun Hong Foods, Inc.” is labeled on the back of the packaging underneath the bar code
    • These products can also be identified by the UPC code: 7 426852 625810.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Click here to view the CDC press release.

Markon will update members as more information becomes available.

Lianna Kelly

Food Safety Director

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