Sharp increase in serious cases of poisoning by wild mushrooms Get your wild mushrooms identified by a specialist! | Anses - Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail

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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Sharp increase in serious cases of poisoning by wild mushrooms Get your wild mushrooms identified by a specialist!

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News of 20/10/2017

In view of the sharp increase in the number of serious cases of poisoning associated with the consumption of wild mushrooms reported to the Poison Control and Monitoring Centres (CAP-TVs), ANSES, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) and the CAP-TVs are issuing a warning to wild mushroom gatherers and reminding them of the good practices to be observed.

Since surveillance began in early July, 32 serious cases of poisoning by wild mushrooms have now been reported to the poison control centres, out of a total of 1179 reported cases. Only around 20 serious cases are observed in a typical year.

Of these 32 cases, 20 correspond to "Amanita poisoning", characterised by digestive signs occurring on average 10 to 12 hours after consumption of the mushrooms, which can be responsible for liver damage that is lethal in the absence of treatment[1]. This syndrome can be caused by Amanita (death cap, European destroying angel, etc.), small Lepiota or Galerina[2]. Two of the individuals involved in these 20 cases required a liver transplant and a third died.

Because of this peak of poisoning cases and the large number of associated serious cases, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) are renewing their essential recommendations:

As a matter of priority and in the event of any doubt, it is essential to get the mushrooms you have picked identified by a specialist(pharmacists, mycologists from mycology associations or learned societies[3]) before consumption, as some poisoning cases can prove fatal.

Taking photos of the mushrooms before cooking enables the poison control centre to identify them, in the event of poisoning.

Every region is affected by poisonings by wild mushrooms.

Ninety-four per cent of the reported cases were caused by wild mushrooms picked by individuals.

In the event of one or more symptoms occurring (especially diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, tremor, dizziness, vision problems, etc.) following the consumption of picked wild mushrooms, immediately dial "15" or call the poison control centre in your region, and explain that you have eaten wild mushrooms.