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
- Heart, liver and kidney damage
- Stomach pain
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.