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Health Team

4 deaths, 30 hospitalizations linked to listeria outbreak in recalled enoki mushrooms

Posted March 10, 2020 9:24 p.m. EDT

— Four people have died and 30 have been hospitalized with listeria, likely after eating recalled enoki mushrooms from the company Sun Hong Foods, authorities said.

Sun Hong Foods recalled the mushrooms Monday because they may be contaminated with listeria, according to the Food and Drug Administration's website.

Four deaths have been reported in California, Hawaii and New Jersey, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has gotten 36 reports of infected people from 17 states.

Six cases involved pregnant women, two of whom miscarried, the CDC said.

"Do not eat, serve, or sell any recalled enoki mushrooms distributed by Sun Hong Foods, Inc." the CDC said on its website.

Listeriosis causes different symptoms in different people. For most, symptoms include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fever, muscle aches and convulsions.

Pregnant women can have these same symptoms but the bacterial infection can also lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection for the newborn.

Symptoms typically start one to four weeks after eating the contaminated food. The infections can be treated with antibiotics.

The source of contamination is being investigated as well as whether other products are linked to the illness.

The mushrooms, labeled "Product of Korea," are white and long with small caps, the CDC said.

The mushrooms were sold in 7.05-ounce/200-gram clear plastic packages with a green label, the CDC said.

Illnesses from the mushrooms began between November 23, 2016, and December 13, 2019.

Until the CDC learns more about the source of the mushrooms and how they're distributed, it advises all people at higher risk of infection -- pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems -- to avoid eating any enoki mushrooms labeled as being from Korea.

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