FSA issues Listeria monocytogenes warning over Enoki mushrooms

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Enoki mushrooms are tall and have thin stems. Credit: Getty / joannatkaczuk
Enoki mushrooms are tall and have thin stems. Credit: Getty / joannatkaczuk

Related tags Food safety

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have issued a warning about eating raw Enoki mushrooms due to the possible presence of listeria.

The two safety bodies have advised pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system to cook Enoki mushrooms thoroughly prior to consuming them due to the potential threat of severe disease.

The risk of suffering a serious illness from listeriosis increases with age, so the advice has also been extended to older people. The FSA and FSS have said that the mushrooms should be stored at below 5 degrees Celsius and that the instructions on the packaging should be followed thoroughly.

Enoki mushrooms can also be labelled as Enokitake, Golden Needle or Lily Mushrooms. They are tall and thin-stemmed and can be served raw in salads or as a garnish.

In 2021, the FSA was alerted to the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Enoki mushrooms available in the USA and Canada. To this point, there has not been a recorded case of listeriosis linked to the mushrooms in the UK, but recent tests found evidence of Listeria monocytogenes in certain samples imported into the country.

Handle Enoki mushrooms carefully

Stuart McAdam, head of incidents at FSS said that due to the possibility of Enoki mushrooms being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, it is advised that consumers handle them “carefully​”.

You should properly clean any surfaces and utensils you’ve used to prepare them and wash hands​,” added McAdam.

“Those who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems should cook Enoki mushrooms thoroughly before eating them as this will destroy any Listeria monocytogenes present, which can cause serious illness in vulnerable consumers.”

The FSA and FSS added that anyone who has consumed the mushrooms and is displaying symptoms of infection should contact the NHS. Symptoms include a high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above, aches and pains, chills, feeling and being sick or diarrhoea.

In other news, a Welsh butcher was fined almost £3,000 after pleading guilty to food hygiene offences.

Related topics Food Safety

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