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Toxic Mushroom warnings

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Toxic Mushrooms have recently claimed the lives of a number of people in the Canberra area.

Even people who have thought they were familiar with these types of Mushrooms, particularly visitors from Asia, have made this deadly mistake recently.

Those who have died were awaiting Liver Transplants and with Australia's poor record of Organ donation, little chance can be given to anyones survival. 

So while we all want fresh food, it may be best to stick to the products you know in the Grocery shops. Most should have Products Liability cover for any type of accidental poisoning of customers from the goods they sell.

The Mushrooms in question are called Death Cap Mushrooms and here is some more information about them.

History:

  • Death cap mushrooms are considered the most poisonous in the world and one is enough to kill an adult human.
  • Before this week's deaths, three people had died and at least 12 made sick from eating death cap mushrooms in Australia in the past decade.
  • Death caps have been involved in the majority of deaths around the world from mushroom poisoning, including that of Roman emperor Claudius.

Appearance:

  • Death cap mushrooms are similar in appearance to several species of edible mushrooms commonly used in cooking, such as paddy straw mushrooms and caesar's mushroom.
  • Death caps may be white but are usually pale green to yellow in colour, with white gills and a white or pale green stalk up to 15cm long.
  • The entire mushroom is poisonous and cooking or peeling the mushroom does not remove toxicity.

Symptoms:

  • Death caps are said to taste pleasant and symptoms can occur six to 24 hours after consumption.
  • Initial symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, hypotension and jaundice, followed by seizures, coma, renal failure and cardiac arrest.

Habitat:

  • Death cap mushrooms can be found in parts of south eastern Australia, particularly ACT and parts of Victoria.
  • They are commonly found near established oak trees and some other hardwood trees and are most common during later summer to early winter after heavy rain or irrigation.
  • It is thought death caps were introduced to Australia with the importation of different hardwoods.

Treatment:

  • Death caps are extremely poisonous and if consumed it is a medical emergency.
  • Anyone who suspects they have eaten a death cap should seek immediate medical attention and where possible take a mushroom sample for identification.

  

For more on this subject, click on these links:

Two die from Toxic Mushrooms

Call for Toxic Mushroom warnings

Last changed: Jan 09 2012 at 9:09 AM

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