As of September 24, 2020, a total of 41 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Stanley have been reported from 10 states – Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York City, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 21, 2020, to August 26, 2020. Ill people range in age from 2 to 74 years, with a median age of 27. Sixty-two percent of ill people are female. Of 32 ill people with information available, 4 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic and traceback information show that wood ear mushrooms distributed by Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., are the likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 18 people with information, 16 (89%) reported eating ramen at a restaurant in the week before their illness started. Several people reported eating at the same ramen restaurants, showing they may be part of illness clusters.
A foodborne illness cluster is defined as two or more people who do not live in the same household who report eating at the same restaurant location, attending a common event, or shopping at the same location of a grocery store in the week before becoming ill. Investigating illness clusters can provide critical clues about the source of an outbreak. If several unrelated ill people ate or shopped at the same location of a restaurant or store within several days of each other, it suggests that the contaminated food item was served or sold there.
Four illness clusters were identified at restaurants serving ramen in three states. Eight (89%) of the nine ill people linked to restaurant clusters reported eating wood ear mushrooms or ramen containing wood ear mushrooms in the week before their illness started.
FDA and states are conducting a traceback investigation to identify the source of the wood ear mushrooms eaten by ill people. Review of records collected to date identified that Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., supplied wood ear mushrooms (dried fungus) to the illness cluster restaurants.
The California Department of Public Health collected dried fungus at one of the restaurants linked to an illness cluster for testing. Testing identified Salmonella in a sample of dried fungus distributed by Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc. WGS analysis is being done to determine if the Salmonella identified in the dried fungus is the same as the Salmonella from ill people.
On September 24, 2020, Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc., issued a recallof all Shirakiku imported dried fungus after the California Department of Public Health found Salmonella in the product.
Restaurants should not sell or serve recalled wood ear mushrooms distributed by Wismettac Asian Foods, Inc.
Salmonella: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $750 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants. The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.
If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.