Skip Navigation

Poisonous Mushrooms

Every year, poison control centers across America get more than 9,000 calls about mushrooms. Even very experienced mushroom gatherers can have a hard time determining whether or not a mushroom is safe to eat.

Facts about wild mushrooms

  • Mushrooms are funguses that grow on wet, moist surfaces such as lawns and wooded areas.
  • Mushrooms called amanitas are very poisonous and can cause death. These mushrooms look very similar to mushrooms that are not poisonous.
  • Some people are allergic to mushrooms that aren’t considered poisonous.
  • People and animals should only eat mushrooms that have been purchased at the store.
  • Just because an animal is eating a mushroom does not mean it is safe for humans.
  • Cooking, canning, pickling, freezing and drying poisonous mushrooms does not remove toxins.

Effects of poisonous mushrooms

Eating poisonous mushrooms can have very serious effects including:

  • Blood disorders
  • Confusion
  • Death
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Heart, liver and kidney damage
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

Symptoms may not develop for a couple of days. By that time, serious damage may already have occurred.


Prevent mushroom poisoning

To keep your family safe, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Check your yard frequently and remove any mushrooms.
  • Teach children that wild mushrooms may be poisonous.
  • Do NOT pick and eat wild mushrooms.

24-hour Poison Control Center hotline: 1-800-222-1222

What to do if someone eats a wild mushroom

Mushroom ingestion can be very serious. If someone you know eats a wild mushroom, contact The University of Kansas Health System Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. Save a piece of the mushroom if you can.

Do not wait for symptoms before you call. Symptoms may not develop for several days.


Related links