herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Warning as 18 poisoned by mushrooms

aT least 11 children have been poisoned by wild mushrooms this year, new figures have revealed.

The Food Safety Authority has issued a warning for foragers to be particularly careful when consuming mushrooms found in the wild.

Some species of mushroom can be life-threatening and cause liver failure, the FSAI warned.

And they said it was not sufficient to rely on pictures to identify which ones are safe.

In total there have been 18 cases of poisoning - 11 of these of children, according to the National Poisons Information Centre of Ireland.

FSAI director of consumer protection Raymond Ellard said that it was extremely difficult to distinguish between safe and poisonous mushrooms growing in the wild - without getting expert help. And he said that parents need to keep an eye on children playing where mushrooms grow.

"We're advising parents and guardians to specifically watch children who may be playing in gardens or fields where wild mushrooms could be growing in case they accidentally eat a poisonous mushroom," he said.

And he said that there were several myths about mushrooms.

"It is important to note that cooking does not kill the potentially toxic chemicals that can be found in some wild mushrooms," he said.

symptoms

"Eating a wild poisonous mushroom, raw or cooked, can result in people becoming very ill with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea."

There are 14 native species of mushrooms growing in Ireland that can cause food poisoning and a further 13 species that are highly dangerous and toxic to the kidneys and liver.

hnews@herald.ie

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