Status:
Resolved
Health advisory:
150004
Date Issued:
23 Apr 2015
Issued by:
Professor Michael Ackland, Acting Chief Health Officer, Victoria
Issued to:
Health professionals and consumers

Key messages

  • Extreme caution is advised when picking and consuming wild mushrooms as the highly poisonous Death Cap mushrooms (Amanita Phalloides) have been found growing in and around Melbourne.
  • Consuming one Death Cap mushroom is sufficient to kill an adult. They are typically found growing near oak trees and are sometimes mistaken for common field mushrooms or edible south-east Asian or European mushrooms.
  • Cooking, peeling or drying these mushrooms does not remove or inactivate the poison.

What is the issue?

Death Cap mushrooms grow under oak trees and are 40-160mm in diameter. The cap ranges in colour from pale yellow green to olive brown and the ridges on the underside of the cap are white. The base of the stem has a membrane ‘cup’. These mushrooms are highly poisonous. Consuming just one mushroom can kill an adult.

There is no home test available to distinguish safe and edible from poisonous versions of mushrooms so if in doubt, don’t consume.

Note: Mushrooms purchased from a supermarket, greengrocer or other reputable source are safe to eat.

 

Death Cap Mushroom

 

Who is at risk?

Anyone who has consumed a Death Cap mushroom is at risk of serious illness which may result in death.

Symptoms and transmission

Symptoms can include violent stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Symptoms may subside after one or two days but this does not indicate recovery. Serious liver damage may well have occurred that may result in death.

Prevention/treatment information

The sooner treatment can begin, the better the chances of survival. Onset of symptoms is anywhere from six to 24 hours after ingestion so if it is suspected that you or your child have eaten these mushrooms, it is critical that you do not wait for symptoms to occur before seeking medical assistance.

Provide a sample of the mushroom consumed if possible to ensure it is properly identified.

Contact the Victorian Poisons Information Centre immediately on 131126.