Listeriosis from Enoki Mushrooms Ends in Tragedy for Pregnant Women

One-sixth of the people sickened in the Listeria outbreak linked to Enoki mushrooms are pregnant women, two of whom suffered fetal losses. That sad news was included in the latest update on the outbreak from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued March 10.

The outbreak, which has sickened 36 people in 17 states, is linked to enoki mushrooms imported from Korea by Sun Hong Foods Inc. in Korea has sickened 36 people in 17 states. Thirty people were hospitalized, four of whom died.

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The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which collected and tested the mushrooms, found that a sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. On March 9, 2020, Sun Hong Foods issued a recall for the enoki mushrooms,  which were sold in 7.05-ounce clear plastic packages bearing the UPC number 7 426852 625810. Consumers who have purchased these mushrooms should not eat them.

Enoki mushrooms are sometimes called by other names including enokitake, golden needle, futu and lily mushrooms. The recalled mushrooms were sold in California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, and Texas at J&L Supermarket, Jusgo Supermarket, ZTao Market, New Sang Supermarket, and Galleria Market.


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Each year, about 1,600 Americans contract listeriosis. More than 90 percent of cases require hospitalization. And for about 16 to 20 percent of patients, the infection proves fatal. Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take as long as 70 days to develop They include fever, headache, stiff neck muscle aches, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

The people sickened in this outbreak range in age from less than 1 year to 97 years old. They reported onset of symptoms on dates ranging from November 23, 2016 to December 13, 2019. Fifty-eight percent of them are female.

The number of illnesses reported from each state is: Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (2), Maryland (2) Michigan (1), Missouri (1), North Carolina (1), New Jersey (1), Nevada (1), New York (4), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), and Virginia (3).

Enoki Mushroom Listeria Outbreak

Pregnant Women at Heightened Risk

Pregnant women are at special risk for Listeria as they are more 10 times more likely than the general population to contract these infections. For pregnant Latina women, the risk of contracting listeriosis is 24 times higher. When pregnant women do get sick, even if they only experience mild illness, the infection may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature labor.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that when Listeria is ingested by a pregnant woman, it makes its way to the placenta where it multiplies into a significant force. Her immune system’s response to clear the infection, they believe, is to dispel its source, the placenta.

If you or a family member are part of this outbreak and would like a free consultation with an experienced Listeria lawyer, please contact us. Pritzker Hageman’s Listeria lawyers have successfully represented clients nationwide for over 40 years. We have won millions for our clients including pregnant women who suffered serious injury and loss and won for them what is believed to be the largest-ever Listeria settlement in the U.S.

Contact us today by calling 1(888) 377-8900 (toll-free), texting 612-261-0856 or by completing the form below.


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