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French authorities urge vigilance after mushrooms poisonings

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Amanita phalloides (death cap) mushroom. Picture: iStock/Creditempire331
Amanita phalloides (death cap) mushroom. Picture: iStock/Creditempire331
One person has died and two others have needed liver transplants in France after eating wild mushrooms.

Since early July, 32 serious cases of poisoning by wild mushrooms have been reported to the Poison Control and Monitoring Centres (CAP-TVs) out of 1,179 cases. A total of 94% of cases were caused by wild mushrooms picked by individuals.

Only around 20 serious infections are normally seen every year.

ANSES (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail), the Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS) and CAP-TVs issued a warning to wild mushroom gatherers.

Of the 32 cases, 20 correspond to Amanita poisoning, characterised by digestive signs 10 to 12 hours after eating the mushrooms.

Symptoms can be caused by Amanita​ (death cap, European destroying angel, etc.), small Lepiota​ or Galerina.

ANSES and DGS said it was essential to get mushrooms identified by a specialist (pharmacists, mycologists from mycology associations or learned societies).

Taking photos of mushrooms before cooking enables the poison control centre to identify them in the event of poisoning, they added.

The Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne alimentaire (AFSCA) in Belgium said Le Centre Antipoisons has received more than 300 calls this year and 134 in August regarding mushrooms.

Related topics: Food Outbreaks

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