One Type Of Mushroom Keeps Getting Recalled Again And Again

Some food recalls are simple to follow with plenty of publicity, while others can be trickier to be in the know about if they happen frequently and in a short period of time. One food, in particular, has seen a lot of recalls for months.

The FDA has made several recall announcements in regard to four different brands of Enoki mushrooms in March 2022. The specific type of mushroom was recalled by WiseTrade Corporation's Global Fresh Marketing on March 23, Top Quality Produce Inc. on March 18, Jan Fruits Inc.'s Taiwan Best Quality on March 18, and Golden Medal Mushroom Inc. on February 23. The FDA says that for those with weakened or compromised immune systems, listeria can be deadly, and it can even cause miscarriages or stillbirths. The milder symptoms for healthy individuals who consume listeria-tainted food include high fever and headaches, nausea, and diarrhea among other side effects. 

Why mushrooms are susceptible to listeria

According to Pennsylvania State University, listeria can be found in a variety of foods such as soft cheeses, poultry, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce or salads, and much more. Listeria can also easily grow on mushrooms or through cross-contaminated areas, which are key areas for listeria growth due to the cool and wet conditions, that mushrooms come into contact with during the cleaning and packaging process. 

Pennsylvania State University explained that a common area of cross-contamination includes the tools used to process the mushrooms when trimming the stems, slicing, or cutting the mushrooms before they are packaged. Other prime places include the bins that hold the mushrooms, the conveyor belts on which they move, and even the racks that are used to transport the mushrooms to the packing area. 

The key to successfully minimizing the risk of listeria in mushrooms is maintaining a spotless environment that is cleaned and sanitized regularly. This includes using water at high temperatures to ensure processing equipment is thoroughly rid of listeria-causing bacteria.