Wild Mushroom Warning for Normandy Pickers

MushroomWith the autumn wild mushroom picking season well under way in Normandy officials are warning people to take care about what they eat after a jump in the number of poisonings.

The advice from the Department of Health says never to eat a mushroom unless you are certain that it is edible and comes after a wet autumn has led to an explosion of mushroom in fields and woods.

Since the beginning of July until the 06 October there were 546 cases of mushroom poisoning in France including an 18 month old child who needed a liver transplant.

But the numbers have increased in recent weeks. There were 25 cases from the 09 to 15 September and 177 between 30 September and 06 October. There is usually an autumnal peak but this year it has come several weeks earlier because of the weather and as a result the wild mushroom season could go on for longer with officials fearing their will be more cases of poisoning than previous years.

‘These poisonings are the result, in most cases, of confusion with other edible fungi. Some people go picking without trying to identify mushrooms and without knowing the risks of intoxication before eating them. The health consequences of this type of poisoning can be very serious and include severe digestive disorders, liver damage that require transplantation or death,’ said a spokesman.

The Directorate General of Health (DGS) and the Institute of Health Surveillance (VS) is warning people not to pick the mushrooms unless they are perfectly sure that they are safe. ‘Some highly toxic mushrooms resemble edible species and if you have any doubt about the status or identification do not consume them before having it checked by a specialist,’ explained the spokesman.

Experts can be found in some pharmacies and there are fungi associations and societies in many areas that can help with identification.

The advice also includes to only pick mushtoom in good condition and to withdraw the entire foot and cap of the mushroom for better identification. People are also advised not to pick near polluted sites such as busy roadsides, industrial areas or landfills as the fungi can concentrate the pollutants.

People should remove the mushrooms separately in a box or carton but never in a plastic bag which accelerates the decay process and separate them into species so that they don’t get mixed up.

Hands should be washed after mushroom picking and the mushrooms should be kept in good condition in the refrigerator and eaten within two days. They should be properly cooked and never eaten raw.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

%d bloggers like this: