26 September 2023

Poisonous mushrooms blooming across State

Start the conversation

The Department of Health is warning Victorians not to pick wild mushrooms as poisonous species bloom across the State this autumn.

Issuing the warning, the Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said poisonous mushrooms, including Death Cap mushrooms and Yellow-staining mushrooms, sprouted in Victoria as the weather became wetter and cooler.

Dr Sutton said consuming just one Death Cap mushroom could kill an adult, while Yellow-staining mushrooms were the cause of most poisonings due to ingestion of wild fungi in Victoria.

“Cooking, peeling or drying these mushrooms does not remove or inactivate the poison,” Dr Sutton said

“There is no home test available to distinguish safe and edible mushrooms from poisonous mushrooms.”

He said symptoms of poisoning by Death Cap mushrooms could include violent stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dr Sutton said that even if initial symptoms subsided, serious liver damage may have occurred that could result in death.

“These mushrooms grow under oak trees and the caps are 40-160mm in diameter,” the Chief Health Officer said.

“The cap ranges in colour from pale yellow-green to olive brown and the ridges on the underside of the cap are white.”

He said consuming Yellow-staining mushrooms caused nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting, with the severity of symptoms varying with the amount eaten.

Dr Sutton warned the mushroom looked very similar to regular purchased mushrooms or ‘cultivated mushrooms’ and advised not to eat wild mushrooms such as the field mushroom.

“In urban areas the Yellow-staining Mushroom is unfortunately much more common than edible mushrooms,” he said.

“It can grow in large troops in lawns and gardens.”

Dr Sutton advised Victorians: Not to pick and eat wild mushrooms unless they were an expert; Urgently attend an emergency department if they believed they’d eaten a poisonous mushroom; and Remove any mushrooms growing in home gardens as young children and pets could easily eat them.

“Remove any mushrooms growing in home gardens by wearing gloves and carefully place in a bag and dispose of them in a closed rubbish bin,” he said.

Further information on mushroom poisoning can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.