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US: Listeria fatalities reportedly traced to imported Korean mushrooms

Four people are dead and at least 36 people across 17 US states have been sickened in a three-year Listeria outbreak linked to mushrooms imported from Korea. The virulent strain has hospitalized at least 30 of the patients.

In the outbreak announcement, the FDA reported that Sun Hong Foods Inc. has recalled all enoki mushrooms it imported from the Republic of Korea. According to foodsafetynews.com, the company reported the mushrooms were sent to distributors in five states, but the product was sent along to an unknown number of other states and retailers, according to the company’s notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration.

“The firm recalled product after the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found that a sample of these mushrooms was positive for Listeria monocytogenes,” according to the FDA’s outbreak announcement this afternoon.

“Additionally, the Listeria monocytogenes in the enoki mushrooms distributed by Sun Hong Foods Inc. was determined, by whole genome sequencing, to be a genetic match to the outbreak strain when tested by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.”

The FDA’s public health officials are urging the certain people to avoid all enoki mushrooms from Korea, not just the product imported bu Sun Hong Foods.


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