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At least 1 dead in Hawaii from multistate listeria outbreak from enoki mushrooms

  • COURTESY CDC
                                Sun Hong Foods on Monday recalled external icon enoki mushrooms because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

    COURTESY CDC

    Sun Hong Foods on Monday recalled external icon enoki mushrooms because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

A company is recalling its enoki mushrooms after they were linked to dozens of cases of listeria infections and four deaths, including at least one from Hawaii.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Sun Hong Foods on Monday recalled its enoki mushrooms labeled as a “Product of Korea” because of possible contamination with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The mushrooms are likely the source of the outbreak, the CDC said.

There were 36 people from 17 states infected with listeria, and 30 people were hospitalized. The illnesses were reported between Nov. 23, 2016, and Dec. 13, 2019. The four deaths were reported in Hawaii, California and New Jersey. Six pregnancy-associated cases were reported and two resulted in the death of the baby.

There were three total people in Hawaii who were infected. The state with the highest number of infections was California with nine.

The CDC said symptoms of a listeria infection include a headache, confusion, convulsions, fever and muscle aches. Pregnant women usually only experience fever and flu-like symptoms like fatigue and muscle aches. Listeria infections can lead to miscarriages, stillbirths and premature deliveries.

Pregnant women, adults 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of listeria infections.

Symptoms usually start between one and four weeks after eating listeria-contaminated food but can begin the day of ingestion and as late as 70 days after. Listeria infections are treated with antibiotics.

The CDC advises people who have the recalled mushrooms to throw them out and sanitize the drawers and shelves where they were stored. Listeria bacteria can survive refrigeration and are easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

The enoki mushrooms were sold in 7.05-ounce, 200-gram clear plastic bags with a green label.

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