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.
Mooroopna Park Primary School principal Hayden Beaton has wasted no time improved his former school's student numbers.
The Yarrawonga Chronicle and Travel and Cruise Yarrawonga are offering shoppers a chance to win an incredible cruise package this summer.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Echuca branch of the Ulysses Club is carrying out its annual toy run on November 29.
Rochester Secondary College student Georgia Mundie will perform at an Equitana exhibition in Melbourne.
Fourteen parties and 37 candidates will contest the Northern Victoria Region for the Victorian upper house at the November 29 election, with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) claiming the top billing on the ballot paper.
Playgroup of the Month for November.
Andrew Richardson and Matt Jackson have been appointed co-coaches of Finley's senior football side.
Two new Neighbourhood Safer Places for the Pyalong and Tooborac communities have been announced.
Runners from the Sri Chinmoy Peace Oneness-Home Peace Run visit local students to share message of goodwill.
Deniliquin’s Luke Harrington is hoping to start a horse riding club for people with a disability.
South African course builder Brian Lavery, now based in Melbourne, set a testing track for the Hunter Group World Cup Showjumping Qualifier on Saturday that brought some of the sport’s big names undone.
Scott Upston had a decorated career as a paralympic coach before moving to Benalla this year.
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.