Following the hospitalization of several Avon Lake residents who became ill after eating wild mushroom, The Lorain and Elyria City Health departments have issued a warning against foraging for wild mushrooms.
Earlier this month, Marty Sartoski, 62, of Avon Lake became sick after eating chicken cacciatore made with wild mushrooms a friend picked in a wooded area near Avondale Avenue, Fox 8 news reported.
Many mushroom varieties that grow in the wild are so poisonous that they can be fatal if eaten. Of particular concern is the toxic mushroom called Amanita, or “death cap” a common variety that can cause severe liver damage or even death if eaten.
The health departments are urging foragers to remember that the poisons in some of the most dangerous varieties of wild mushrooms are not destroyed by cooking, freezing or boiling.
“We advise all persons to purchase mushrooms from the grocery store,” a press release issued by the Lorain City Health Department said.
The increase in persons suffering from wild mushroom poisoning may be due the unusually wet spring and fall that has lead to an abundance of wild mushroom growth.
“We caution all persons that consuming as little as half a poisonous wild mushroom can be fatal,” the press release said.
Symptoms of wild mushroom poisoning, which can begin hours after ingestion, include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, severe diarrhea, a change in heart rhythm and low blood pressure. Treatment is often limited to supportive treatment such as IV fluids.