Hawaii resident dead from listeria; Sun Hong Foods, Inc. recalls enoki mushrooms for possible Listeria contamination

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — On March 9, 2020, Sun Hong Foods, Inc. recalled external icon enoki mushrooms because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Enoki mushrooms are white, with long stems and small caps.

36 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 17 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from November 23, 2016 to December 13, 2019.

30 hospitalizations have been reported.

Four deaths have been reported from California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

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 to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness.

If you purchased Sun Hong Foods, Inc Enoki Mushrooms you are urged not to eat and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-323-597-1112. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Outbreak Investigation

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.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Listeria bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

COURTESY: US FDA

Symptoms and Treatment

Listeriosis can cause different symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected.

Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

People other than pregnant women: Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.

Symptoms for invasive listeriosis usually start 1 to 4 weeks after eating food contaminated with

Listeria. Some people have reported symptoms starting as late as 70 days after exposure or as early as the same day of exposure.

Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.

Advice to Consumers, Food Service Operators, and Retailers

Do not eat, serve, or sell any recalledexternal icon enoki mushrooms distributed by Sun Hong Foods, Inc.

Check your refrigerator for recalled enoki mushrooms. Return them to the purchase location or throw them away.

Do not eat any food made with recalled enoki mushrooms, even if some was consumed and no one became sick.

Wash and sanitize any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the recalled enoki mushrooms. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
Wash surfaces with hot, soapy water.
Wash containers with hot, soapy water or clean in the dishwasher.
Call your healthcare provider if you have consumed recalled enoki mushrooms and are experiencing symptoms of Listeria infection.

Until we learn more about the source and distribution of the enoki mushrooms, CDC advises that people at higher risk for Listeria infections – pregnant women, adults ages 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer or on dialysis – avoid eating any enoki mushrooms labeled as “Product of Korea”.

At home, check your refrigerator for enoki mushrooms labeled as “Product of Korea”.
If you have them, don’t eat them and throw them out.
If you have them, wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where they were stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.

When you buy, order, or eat out, check with stores and restaurants that they do not use enoki mushrooms labeled as “Product of Korea”.

If they don’t know where their enoki mushrooms are from, don’t buy or order the product.

Call your healthcare provider if you have consumed enoki mushrooms labeled as “Product of Korea” and are experiencing symptoms of Listeria infection.


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