South Australians are being reminded not to eat wild mushrooms, as a variety of mushrooms start to emerge after recent rain.
While some wild mushrooms are edible, others contain poisons that can result in sickness or death.
Pam Catcheside from the State Herbarium of SA said any wild, unidentified mushroom can potentially be deadly.
“Some wild mushrooms can cause severe abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea; others, including poisonous Death Caps, can cause liver damage, kidney failure or even death, even if only a small piece is consumed,” Ms Catcheside said.
“Death Cap mushrooms Amanita phalloides are responsible for nine out of ten deaths from mushroom poisoning in Australia. All parts of the fungus are poisonous and their worst toxins can’t be destroyed by cooking.
“Even the experts can have difficulty in identifying some species, so my advice would be to only eat mushrooms that have been purchased from a reliable green-grocer or supermarket.
“A major problem with the Death Cap is that it has been mistaken for the Stubble Rosegill Volvopluteus gloiocephalus with fatal results, since the latter species is very similar to the Paddy Straw Mushroom Volvariella volvacea, a delicacy in Asian cuisine.
“People should be aware that these highly toxic mushrooms can look like edible mushrooms.”
Pets are also at risk of dying after eating poisonous mushrooms, so owners should immediately seek veterinary attention for their dog or cat if they suspect their pets have eaten wild mushrooms.
If you suspect you or someone you know has eaten a wild mushroom, contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000).