Locals urged to not eat wild mushrooms

By David Rak

Strathbogie Shire residents are being warned not to eat mushrooms that have been appearing in gardens around Victoria for fear they could be the poisonous Death Cap or Yellow-staining mushrooms.

The recent heavy rain throughout the state has seen an increase in the number of the deadly mushrooms, as well as a rise in the number of poisonings.

Dr Tianming Wang from the Violet Town Medical Centre warned residents to never eat food they could not identify.

He said those poisoned by the mushrooms would show symptoms such as stomach cramping and shortness of breath, with mushroom poisoning causing the cutting off of blood supply and even death.

“We would say to people not to eat things they find or anything they can't identify,” Dr Wang said.

He said there was an antidote to treat mushroom poisoning, but treatment needed to begin immediately after the mushroom was eaten.

Strathbogie Shire mayor Amanda McClaren acknowledged that with the recent rainfall there had been an increase in mushrooms and fungi growing throughout the municipality.

She urged residents not to harvest and to dispose of any mushrooms they found growing in their gardens and do not harvest mushrooms from public spaces.

“Unless you are an expert in identifying these mushrooms, it is not worth the risk in consuming them,” Cr McClaren said.

“The risks are significant and we have been informed of some serious poisonings that have occurred throughout the state.

“Eating just one of these mushrooms can kill an adult.”

Cr McClaren said residents should also be vigilant with pets, particularly dogs who might ingest the mushrooms.

“If you are taking your dog for a walk around the shire or notice any mushrooms in your own backyard, it is best to dispose of them in a safe way to protect animals as well,” the mayor said.

She said there was no home test available to ascertain whether mushrooms were safe to eat. Cooking, peeling or drying them will not remove the poison.

“We would advise our residents to only eat mushrooms that are purchased from a supermarket, fruit and vegetable stall or reputable source,” r McClaren said.

“They might look delicious popping up in gardens and wild spaces, but it is simply not worth the risk.

“We would advise anyone who believes they might have ingested one to seek medical attention immediately and if you think your pet has eaten one to visit the vet as soon as possible.”