May 24, 2024

Number Seven Outbreak of 2020: Deadly Enoki Mushrooms Listeria

The number seven outbreak of 2020 was the deadly Enoki mushroom Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened 36 people in 17 states last spring. Thirty-one people were hospitalized because they were so sick, and four people died. In addition, six of these cases were pregnancy-associated, with two resulting in fetal loss.

Number Seven Outbreak of 2020: Deadly Enoki Mushrooms Listeria

The patient case count by state was: Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), Virginia (3), and Washington (1).  Illness onset dates ranged from November 23, 2016 to December 13, 2019. The patient age range was from less than 1 to 96 years. Thirty-one out of thirty-three interviewed patients were hospitalized. Four deaths were reported; two from California, and one each from Hawaii and New Jersey.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence found that enoki mushrooms that were supplied by Green Co. LTD, from the Republic of Korea, were the likely source of this outbreak. Twenty out of the 22 respondents said they ate mushrooms, including enoki, portobello, button, white, cremini, wood ear, mistake, and oyster, before they got sick.

Officials collected enoki mushrooms for testing. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected enoki mushrooms from a grocery store where an ill person shopped and identified the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes in two samples. The mushrooms were labeled “Product of Korea” and were distributed by Sun Hong Foods Inc.¬†On March 9, 2020, Sun Hong Foods recalled enoki mushrooms.

Also, the California Department of Public Health collected enoki mushrooms from grocery stores and found the outbreak strain in one sample. Those mushrooms were labeled as “Product of Korea” and were distributed by Guan’s Mushroom Co. Those mushrooms were recalled by that company on March 23, 2020.

This deadly enoki mushrooms Listeria monocytogenes outbreak is now over. The recalled mushrooms are no longer available for purchase.

Symtpoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogen, include a high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Pregnant women may be mildly ill with what appears to be the flu, but this infection can cause stillbirth and miscarriage. If you have been sick with these symptoms, see your doctor.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Listeria monocytogenes infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.



  1. Eric Gingerich says

    Where is the number 8 Outbreak of 2020?

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