Why Mushrooms Are Being Recalled In 15 States

Chefs love mushrooms for the rich flavor — or umami — they impart in dishes. The concentrated flavor of dried mushrooms amps the umami even further, earning them a place in every serious cook's pantry (via Bon Appétit).

Foraging wild mushrooms is often discouraged because it's difficult for inexperienced mushroom foragers to tell which ones are poisonous, and the symptoms of mushroom toxicity vary based on the type eaten (via Poison Control). Luckily, humans have been cultivating mushrooms for 800 years, beginning in China before expanding to Europe in the 1600s and then to the United States in 1865, where the primary fungi grown are button mushroom variants, according to R & R Cultivation.

But a recent dry mushroom recall reminds us to remain vigilant, even with farmed mushrooms. The Maryland Department of Health found salmonella bacteria in Tai Phat Wholesalers' Three Coins Dried Mushrooms during routine testing, prompting the recall across 15 states (via Today).

Dried mushroom recall covers 15 states

Food Safety News reports the mushrooms came in four different packages ranging in sizes and type: both whole and sliced in 2.5- and 10.5-ounce packages. The states where the mushrooms are under recall are Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The Mayo Clinic explains that salmonella is a bacterial disease generally caused by eating undercooked poultry, meat, or eggs or drinking unpasteurized milk. Mushrooms, however, can be contaminated with the bacteria if the compost they've grown in hasn't been adequately treated to discourage pathogens or if they've come into contact with animals or contaminated water (via Canada.ca). According to Eurofins, salmonella bacteria can thrive in the fungi's compost if the pH is off.

Salmonella poisoning causes gastrointestinal distress like diarrhea, vomiting, cramping, chills, headache, and fever (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). The Food and Drug Administration warns more serious health complications can occur if salmonella enters the bloodstream such as arterial infections. According to Today, so far, no one has reported any symptoms due to the recalled items.

While the Centers for Disease Control says rehydrating dried mushrooms in boiling water will kill any pathogens, they still advise throwing out any mushrooms involved in a recall. The FDA urges anyone who purchased the mushrooms to return them to their point of purchase for a refund.