CDC investigates multistate Listeria outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms

Enoki mushroom
Posted at 5:21 PM, Nov 17, 2022

WXMI — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a Listeria outbreak after two people, one from Michigan and one from Nevada, were hospitalized.

This outbreak is linked to enoki mushrooms, according to the CDC’s interviews with sick people and laboratory findings.

Both people who got sick reported either eating enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items that had enoki mushrooms in them.

Enoki mushroom

The FDA found the outbreak strain in a sample of enoki mushrooms previously; however, the CDC has not yet identified that sample as a potential source in this outbreak.

CDC investigators now are trying to figure out which specific brands of enoki mushrooms could be contaminated.

Listeria can cause serious illnesses when the bacteria spread beyond the gut and to other body parts.

It is especially harmful to pregnant women, people 65 and older and anyone with a weakened immune system.

If any of those three things applies to you, the CDC says you should:

  • NOT eat raw enoki mushrooms and make sure to cook them thoroughly
  • Keep enoki mushrooms separate from food that you aren’t cooking
  • Wash your hands after touching raw enoki mushrooms
  • Clean your refrigerator, containers and surfaces that touched raw enoki mushrooms
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any Listeria symptoms after eating enoki mushrooms

Symptoms of Listeria for people who are not pregnant usually start within two weeks after eating contaminated food. They include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Convulsions

Pregnant women typically experience only fever, fatigue and muscle aches; however, Listeria can cause pregnancy loss or premature birth. Also, it can cause serious illness in newborns or even death.

The CDC says the actual number of sick people from this Listeria outbreak connected with enoki mushrooms is likely much higher than two, adding that it may not be limited to just Michigan and Nevada.

So far, no deaths have been reported.

To stay up to date with the CDC’s investigation on this outbreak, click here.

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