Indonesian official says enoki mushrooms not from South Korea are safe for consumption

Enoki mushrooms. Photo by en siang tan from Pexels
Enoki mushrooms. Photo by en siang tan from Pexels

An official from Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture says that enoki mushrooms produced by countries other than South Korea are safe for consumption, following a government order for importers to recall and destroy the produce from a South Korean company.

The statement from the ministry’s Food Security Agency (BKP) responds to recent concerns from the public, after a recent official investigation found samples of enoki mushrooms imported from Green Co. Ltd. to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which causes listeriosis.

Related: Imported Korean enoki mushrooms sprout listeriosis concerns in Indonesia

“For now we can safely consume enoki mushrooms that aren’t produced by South Korea,” BKP head Agung Hendriadi said during a press conference today.

Agung said that Green Co. Ltd’s enoki mushrooms are no longer circulating in the market based on reports from 24 provinces across Indonesia.

“After conducting inspections to the shops that sell enoki mushrooms, up until today in West Kalimantan, Jambi, Ternate, Jakarta, as well as other provinces have stated that enoki mushrooms from South Korea are no longer on the market. All have been withdrawn from the stores.”

Agung also said that enoki mushrooms imported from China are safe for consumption. 

Though allegedly contaminated products have been destroyed, Agung urged the public to process them according to advisories issued by BKP, which includes cooking the enoki mushrooms to a temperature of at least 75 degrees celsius for 5 minutes.

A listeria outbreak recently occurred in the United States, Canada, and Australia due to consumption of enoki mushrooms from South Korea, which health and food safety officials found to have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), a food security network under the United Nations and the World Health Organization, notified Indonesian officials of the outbreak in April, eventually leading to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food Security Agency (BKP) to order the recall and destruction of enoki mushrooms supplied by Green Co. Ltd.

The same company has been traced back as the likely source of the outbreak in the US as well, which caused the deaths of four people.

There are no cases due to bacterial contamination from enoki mushrooms in Indonesia to date.

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