Enoki mushrooms

Pennsylvania Farm Issues Mushroom Recall After Listeria Fears

February 03, 2009 02:01 PM
by Isabel Cowles
A farm in Pennsylvania has recalled enoki mushrooms after routine testing determined they were contaminated with listeria; no consumers have yet reported illness.

Enoki Recall

First, consumers had to forgo peanut butter and jelly: now they may have to abandon stir fry.

Phillips Mushroom Farms in Pennsylvania recently issued a recall on enoki mushrooms, the long-stemmed white mushrooms often used in Asian cuisine. Enoki mushrooms, sometimes called snow mushrooms or winter mushrooms, are the only type Phillips Mushroom Farms has flagged.

The farm issued a voluntary recall after discovering the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes in a single sample during routine testing. Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an infection that mainly affects those with weak immune systems like newborns and the elderly. According to WebMD, it can cause complications in pregnancy, such as miscarriage and stillbirth. In healthy individuals, symptoms include headache, stiffness, nausea, diarrhea, disorientation, loss of balance and convulsions.

Phillips Mushroom Farms posted an urgent notice on the homepage of its Web site, informing consumers of the potential risk. The affected mushrooms were distributed in the U.S. and Canada under a variety of brand names; the farm lists the relevant labels and UPCs.

According to Phillips Mushroom Farm, no consumers have reported feeling ill; however, the company urges distributors to remove the mushrooms from their produce sections and promises a full refund for consumers who return potentially contaminated enokis.

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Related Topic: Recent Recalls

Though both may be pulled from shelves, the recent recalls of enoki mushrooms and peanut products are strikingly different. The expediency with which Phillips Mushroom Farms recognized and reacted to potential health risks differs markedly from the slow reaction by the peanut butter plant responsible for the ongoing salmonella outbreak.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) knowingly distributed salmonella-contaminated peanut butter and other peanut products.

Peanut Corporation of America sells peanut butter and peanut paste—ground, roasted peanuts used in baked goods and confections—to various manufacturers. The outbreak has been especially pervasive since so many products contain peanut ingredients: “People may not remember the foods they recently ate and may not be aware of all of the ingredients in food. That’s what makes these types of investigations very difficult,” CDC spokesman David Daigle told Reuters.

Since September, the outbreak has sickened more than 500 consumers in 43 states and has been linked to eight deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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