FDA Bans Import of All Enoki Mushrooms from Korea for Listeria

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the import of all enoki mushrooms from Korea after too many product samples tested positive for Listeria. On July 20, the FDA placed all enoki mushrooms from Korea on the import alert list.

Listeria bacteria are found in nature. When foods become contaminated they can cause serious illness and death. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth even if they only experience mild illness.

Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than the general population to develop Listeria infections. For pregnant Latina women, the risk is 24 times higher.

In June 2020, a Listeria outbreak linked to enoki mushrooms from Korea ended after causing 36 illnesses, four deaths, and two miscarriages. Twelve cases were reported in Canada, and six cases in Australia.

After the 2020 outbreak, the FDA stepped up its testing of imported enoki mushrooms. During the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2021, 43 percent of the samples tested positive for Listeria.

State public health officials also increased testing of imported enoki mushrooms. From March 2020 through May 2022, they purchased enoki mushrooms from U.S. retail locations and tested them. This sampling initiative led to 21 recalls of enoki mushrooms. Nine of them were enoki mushrooms grown in Korea.

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Category: Food Poisoning, Listeria
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