Death Cap Mushrooms

Death Cap Mushrooms

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Amanita phalloides

The Death Cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) is a deadly poisonous fungus. Eating just one mushroom can kill an adult. All parts of the mushroom are poisonous.

There have been multiple poisonings and fatalities associated with Death Cap mushrooms in Australia.

Death Cap mushrooms often grow near established oak trees and are found when there is warm, wet weather. They were identified growing in Tasmania for the first time in May 2017.

Do not pick or eat wild mushrooms

People should not pick or eat wild mushrooms in Tasmania. There is no simple test to distinguish Death Cap mushrooms and other poisonous mushrooms from an edible mushroom. Cooking, soaking, peeling or drying poisonous mushrooms does not make them safe to eat.

Only eat mushrooms purchased from reputable suppliers, such as supermarkets and green grocers.

Children under 5 years of age have a natural inclination to put things in their mouths. If you have a toddler, you should regularly check your garden for wild mushrooms to reduce the risk of accidental poisoning.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Death Cap mushroom poisoning generally occur 6-24 hours or more after eating the mushrooms and include stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Symptoms may subside for 1-2 days giving a false impression of recovery. However, by this stage the toxin may have already caused serious liver damage. Liver failure and death may occur within 7-10 days.

Medical Treatment

If you suspect you or your child may have eaten Death Cap mushrooms or any other poisonous mushroom you should seek urgent medical attention at a hospital emergency department. If possible, take a whole mushroom with you for identification.

Do not wait for symptoms to occur before seeking medical assistance. The sooner the treatment begins, the better the chances of survival.

For help if poisoning is suspected call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

For further information or to report the location of Death Cap mushrooms contact Public Health Services on 1800 671 738.

Useful links:

Poisons Information Centre – phone 13 11 26

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Food Safety Information Council