August 18, 2003
Georgia Ag Department Finds
Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin announced today that Georgia
Department of Agriculture food scientists have found two samples of a brand
of sliced fresh mushrooms to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a
species of potentially dangerous bacteria.
The mushrooms are South Mill Gourmet Slices and are sold in the produce
section of grocery stores in 8-ounce containers labeled "Ready to Eat." The
codes on the packages found to be contaminated are 213 SLI.A1005 AP and 212
SLIC A1404 BS. The mushrooms are packaged by South Mill Mushrooms, 649 West
South Street, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause
listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially serious disease. The most common
manifestation of listeriosis is meningitis, which has symptoms of high
fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Listeriosis can also
cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal
infections to infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems
such as persons with chronic disease, AIDS or HIV infection or taking
chemotherapy for cancer.
"Our inspectors will be checking stores to make sure the affected mushrooms
are removed from shelves," said Commissioner Irvin.
"The Department's Food Lab tests samples pulled routinely by our inspectors
from stores all over Georgia. At this point, we do not know how many of the
mushrooms may be in Georgia stores. Anyone with concerns over the mushrooms
may return them to the place of purchase for a refund," said Irvin.