Sydney man’s warning after eating potentially deadly mushrooms
A Sydney man has issued a warning to people not to consume any mushrooms they see in their yard after a “stupid moment” almost claimed some of his most vital organs.
Jonathan Herrman took to Facebook to share how he discovered the dangers of wild mushrooms the hard way.
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Within hours of consuming a white mushroom he spotted on his lawn, Mr Herrman became extremely ill.
“I thought – here’s an easy food supply, but I will be careful,” he wrote.
“First rubbed some on sensitive skin, waited, licked, waited and then took a thumbnail size bite.
“No discernible taste difference to an ordinary mushroom.”
Two to three hours later, Mr Herrman said it “went pretty south quickly”.
“I was as ill as I’ve ever felt in my life,” he said.
“Violent vomiting, simultaneous (diarrhea) (like I’d had 10 courses of Picoprep), sweating and a runny nose – my body was doing everything it could to dump everything it could.”
The Sydney man then said he called the poisons centre for advice before being taken to hospital, where he was put on an IV drip.
Mr Herrman was discharged after two nights in hospital and said he was lucky to “still have my liver/kidneys”.
“Do not eat the wild shrooms!,” he said.
“They can kill and there is no known antidote for the poison found in several species, amatoxin.”
The Food Safety Information Council issued a warning about deadly wild mushrooms last month, recommending people avoid gathering wild mushrooms altogether and only cook those they purchase at the supermarket.
Mr Herrman is believed to have consumed the lepiota venenata mushroom.
But a soggy summer has meant deathcap mushrooms are cropping up earlier.
Deathcap mushrooms look similar to other edible wild mushrooms but a single one has enough poison in it to kill a healthy adult human.
“The toxin in deathcap mushrooms is not destroyed by peeling, cooking or drying,” said the council’s chair Cathy Moir.
“Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps and usually appear six to 24 hours after eating.”
The symptoms may ease for a few days before a “terminal phase” of three to four days, she said.
“Without early, effective medical intervention people may go into a coma and die after two or three weeks of liver and kidney failure.”
In 2012, two people died after eating the deadly mushrooms at a New Year’s Eve party in Canberra and four others in the ACT were seriously poisoned two years later.
The deathcap is the most deadly mushroom in Australia but there are others that people should be wary of, Ms Moir said.
Various Cortinarius (webcap) and Galerina species, the ghost mushroom (commonly mistaken for oyster mushrooms) and the yellow stainer which resembles a field mushroom, are all dangerous to humans and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
– with AAP