Relying on apps to distinguish between poisonous mushrooms and edible varieties could risk fatal consequences. As winter approaches, it is prime time for yellow-staining and death caps to thrive in Victoria. Angie Bone, deputy chief of health for the state says
Apps shouldn’t be relied upon to recognize poisonous varieties.
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“Consuming just a single death cap mushroom can result in liver failure and death, so if you are not an expert and absolutely certain of the species of mushroom, do not pick it or eat it,” Dr Bone said.
A young boy was admitted to hospital in Canberra last month after eating one of these wild mushrooms.
Dr Bone advised people not to pick wild mushrooms in Melbourne or regional Victoria.
” While mushrooms that are sold in commercial quantities can be eaten, it is often difficult to tell the difference between edible and toxic wild mushrooms,” Bone said. There is a risk that your mushroom-identifying app will misidentify mushrooms and it could have serious consequences for your health. “
Deathcap mushrooms are found close to deciduous trees, which shed their leaves each year. These mushrooms can be very dangerous. The mushrooms grow to be large with a yellowish-greenish cap and cup-shaped capsule around the stem’s base.
Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting within hours. However, organ damage can occur between 24 or 48 hours following their intake.
Yellow-staining mushrooms turn yellow when the cap or stem is bruised by a thumbnail and, according to Victoria’s Royal Botanic Gardens, they are the cause of the most wild fungi poisonings in the state. People who consume yellow-staining mushrooms may experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Dr Bone advised anyone who becomes ill from eating yellow-staining mushrooms to seek immediate medical attention and, if feasible, obtain samples of the entire mushroom for identification.
Wild mushrooms may also pose a danger to pets.