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A New Salmonella Outbreak Tied to This Ingredient Has Sickened 41 People

The bacteria infected restaurant-goers in ten states.

As if we don't already have enough to worry about when setting foot in a restaurant this year, it turns out contracting coronavirus isn't the only health threat diners should worry about. A new salmonella outbreak linked to mushrooms served at various restaurants sickened at least 41 people in ten states. (Find out why This Is the Only One Way to Contract COVID-19 at the Grocery Store.)

The contaminated wood ear mushrooms come in dry form and are distributed in 5 lb. packages by Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc. in Sante Fe Springs, California. The product was sold to restaurants only and didn't reach consumers directly via grocery stores.

This week, Wismettac Asian Foods has issued a recall of the product, sold under brand name Shirakiku, from restaurants in 31 states, the District of Columbia, and one Canadian province. The move came after testing by the Food and Drug Administration found salmonella on the imported product samples.

CNN reports that several illness cases were traced to restaurants serving ramen in three different states. The group of infected individuals ranges in age from two to 74 years old, and four were hospitalized.

Wood ear mushrooms can be found under several names on restaurant menus: Kikurage, Dried Black Fungus, Dried Fungus, or Mu'er/Mu Er/Mu-Err mushrooms. If you're ordering a dish that contains these mushrooms at a restaurant, you should ask the staff about their origin, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This year, salmonella was discovered on onions and onion-containing products, frozen shrimp, and peaches. For more information and to learn about other food safety threats, check out 8 Major Food Recalls You Need to Know About Right Now.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Deputy News Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura
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