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Mushroom Listeria Case Causes Four Deaths

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Mushroom Listeria Case Causes Four DeathsThere are numerous mushrooms that grow in the wild that are poisonous, and it is difficult to tell the difference between a safe and deadly wild mushroom. Health professionals recommend that consumers only eat mushrooms that they buy in a store or are served in a restaurant. However, it is still possible to get food poisoning from eating store-bought mushrooms. A recent listeria outbreak linked to packaged mushrooms resulted in four deaths and 30 hospitalizations.

Outbreak Details

Sun Hong Foods recalled its packages of enoki mushrooms on March 9 due to potential listeria contamination. Thirty-six people across more than a dozen states had reportedly become ill with listeriosis, and half of the patients said they had recently eaten mushrooms. Tests conducted on enoki mushrooms sold in California found that they were contaminated with listeria. Enoki mushrooms are long and white with small caps and are commonly used in cuisine from Asian countries. Listeria can contaminate fresh-grown produce through soil, water, and animal feces. Once listeria infects a food processing facility, it can spread to other products in the facility.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeria is the third-leading cause of food-poisoning deaths in the U.S. People who are elderly, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are the ones who are most at risk from listeriosis. Among the recent outbreak, six pregnant women became ill and two lost their fetuses. People who are sick with listeriosis may experience fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, and a loss of balance.

Mushroom Safety

The mushrooms that you buy in a grocery store should be as safe to eat as any of the fruits and vegetables you can buy. You can best protect yourself against food poisoning by using common food safety practices, such as:

  • Avoiding mushrooms that appear to be bruised or spoiled
  • Washing fresh mushrooms before you eat them
  • Cleaning under the cap of whole mushrooms, where bacteria and viruses may hide
  • Refrigerating mushrooms if they are not eaten immediately

There are mushroom hunters who collect wild mushrooms to eat. Though these hunters may have experience in finding safe mushrooms, you should still be cautious before eating wild mushrooms. Even if the mushroom is not naturally poisonous, it could contain bacteria from being out in the wild.

Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Attorney

If you have become sick after eating mushrooms or any other food, you should contact an Illinois food poisoning lawyer. The attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP, can advise you whether you can file a lawsuit against the party that sold or served the food. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409.


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