Listeria monocytogenes has been detected in some imported fresh enoki and the products have been recalled. Recalled product should not be eaten.
Consumers are advised to not eat any enoki mushrooms raw. For enoki mushrooms that have not been recalled, always store them in the refrigerator and cook them thoroughly to kill any bacteria that might make you sick. Follow FSANZ food safety basics to also avoid cross contaminating other food.
Food safety hazard
Listeriosis is an illness caused by eating food contaminated by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. These bacteria are common in the environment and can contaminate different types of food. They can grow in food, even at low temperatures in the refrigerator.
Most people exposed to Listeria will only have mild symptoms, but vulnerable people can get seriously ill or die. Those at most risk of illness include pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborn babies, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system (e.g. from illness or medication).
- Vulnerable people can experience fever, muscle aches, tiredness, sepsis and meningitis. In pregnant women listeriosis can also cause miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth.
- Others can experience headache, fever, tiredness and aches and pains. Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps.
What to do
Check for current recalls of enoki mushrooms. Consumers should not eat recalled enoki products. They may return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund or throw the product out.
Make sure any storage containers, fridge compartments, and utensils used to prepare or store recalled enoki are thoroughly cleaned.
Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.
What is FSANZ doing in response to the issue?
FSANZ is coordinating a national analytical survey investigating the prevalence and levels of Listeria in enoki mushrooms. Food is being sampled from April to June 2023 in all Australian states and territories where the product is available.
FSANZ will use the survey results to:
- advise on risks associated with imported enoki mushrooms
- develop a risk profile for domestically produced enoki mushrooms
- consider the need for additional risk management, such as regulatory or non-regulatory measures.
2020 imported enoki recall
There have been previous recalls of enoki mushrooms in Australia due to linkages to causing listeriosis. Six L. monocytogenes cases of human illness notified in Australia were identified by whole genome sequencing as being related to a USA outbreak strain linked to enoki mushrooms. These cases were notified between October 2017 and March 2020. L. monocytogenes was detected in enoki mushrooms imported to Australia from Republic of South Korea and were recalled on 10 April 2020.