Rochester's Brian Haimes has urged people picking wild mushrooms to know how to tell edible varieties from the deadly death cap fungus.ELAINE COONEY May 7, 2014 3:10am
Rochester resident Brian Haimes got a big surprise when he went to cook his lunch last week.
The mushrooms that appeared to be edible field mushrooms turned out to be poisonous.
Mr Haimes is a seasoned mushroom picker and was convinced the mushrooms he picked from the nature strip on Mackay St were edible and was looking forward to frying them for lunch.
He said they had the hallmarks of edible mushrooms: brown gills, white flesh and a fresh smell.
Mr Haimes said as soon as he began cooking the mushrooms he got a chemical smell and knew they were poisonous.
He said that was usually how he detected the difference or he would look for pink or yellow flesh when the skin was scratched.
Mr Haimes’ scare came at the same time Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Michael Ackland issued a warning about the dangers of eating wild mushrooms.
‘‘People should avoid gathering wild mushrooms in rural Victoria and from their own gardens because of the risk of collecting poisonous varieties which may appear very similar to edible varieties,’’ he said.
Dr Ackland identified the dangers of two of the state’s most dangerous varieties, the death cap fungus, Amanita phalloides and the yellow staining mushroom, Agaricus xanthodermus.
The warning coincided with the arrival of the mushrooming season, spawned when rain encourages growth of the fungi in the still-warm earth.
‘‘Poisonings can occur when people gathering wild mushrooms inadvertently include toxic species,’’ Dr Ackland said.
Dr Tom May, mycologist (fungus biologist) at the Royal Botanic Gardens, said the death cap is widespread across Melbourne in public and private gardens and also grew in regional areas.
‘‘The death cap can appear throughout the year, but it is most common a week or two after good rains in autumn, so we could expect a bumper crop about now,’’ he said.
‘‘The death cap is extremely toxic and responsible for 90 per cent of all mushroom poisoning deaths.
‘‘Death can follow within 48 hours.
‘‘The symptoms of poisoning may take 10-16 hours to appear after eating and will most likely be stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea.
‘‘Anyone who becomes ill after eating mushrooms should seek urgent medical advice and, if possible, take samples of the whole mushroom for identification.’’
Dr Ackland said the common yellow staining mushroom turned yellow when the cap or stem was bruised by a thumbnail.
He said the best place to obtain mushrooms was from a commercial retail food outlet.
In the past fortnight four people from Canberra were poisoned in two incidents after eating death cap mushrooms.
When Sam Atukorala addresses his children in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, they understand him completely, but they always reply in English.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
The Shire of Campaspe is concerned as to the incomplete reporting of Port of Echuca property matters.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Scout Group hopes to raise funds for World Scout Jamboree through novel 24-hour endurance test.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.