Reminder to not pick or eat wild mushrooms

Published: Friday, 12 April 2019 at 12:00:21 PM

With eight people recently hospitalised in NSW from mushroom poisoning, the Town of Bassendean would like to remind you to not pick or eat wild mushrooms. 

Mushrooms are most commonly found in autumn, associated with warm, humid weather and often after significant rainfall.  Some wild mushrooms are toxic and cooking, peeling, soaking or drying them does not remove or inactivate the poisons.

In 2016, the potentially deadly Marbled Death Cap mushroom (Amanita marmorata) was found growing in the Denmark region of south-west WA.  This mushroom looks very similar to the edible, non-toxic field mushroom (Agaricus sp.) which can be purchased from supermarkets and greengrocers.

The Marbled Death Cap mushroom is a wild mushroom that is extremely toxic.  It is large with a marbled white, greyish or brownish cap with white gills underneath.  It has a white ring on the stem and a cup shaped sac surrounding the base.  The poisonous parts are found in the cap, gills, stem and spores.

Most young children who eat poisonous mushrooms find them in the garden at home and pets may also be affected if they consume toxic mushrooms, so it is important to check your garden for mushrooms and remove them to reduce the risk of accidental poisoning.  It is also important to wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after disposing the mushrooms.  With school holidays approaching, please be extra vigilant when out in parks, visiting farms and forests.

Gastro-intestinal symptoms normally develop within 6 to 24 hours after consuming toxic mushrooms,   Anyone who becomes ill after eating these mushrooms, and has symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhoea, should seek urgent medical advice – and if possible – bring samples of the whole mushroom for identification which may be required. More information about wild mushroom poisoning can be found on the Department of Health website.

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