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Refugees particularly at risk
If you are looking for mushrooms in the forest, you have to know your way around. Refugees and asylum seekers in particular should be careful because there are some very toxic species in Germany that are very similar to edible mushrooms from other countries and regions, warns the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).
One example is the highly poisonous tuber agaric, which can easily be confused with the edible egg amanita from the Mediterranean. Around 80 percent of all deadly fungal poisonings are due to this mix-up. The tuber agaric grows in deciduous forests and parks from July to October and also looks very similar to the local mushroom. It is particularly dangerous that it has no offensive taste and that the symptoms of poisoning only appear after many hours. A fresh mushroom of 50 g can be fatal for adults and about half for children.
For 2015, the BfR is aware of a total of 27 cases of fungal intoxication, two of which were fatal. Affected people usually react with stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.
For your own safety, only mushrooms that can be clearly identified should be collected. With the slightest doubt, you can leave the mushroom standing better or contact a counseling center. Even wet, gnawed and unsightly specimens do not belong in the basket. If you feel unwell after a mushroom meal, you should always consult a doctor or the poison control center.
In general, wild mushrooms are only occasionally on the menu. There are two reasons. On the one hand, mushrooms accumulate heavy metals such as mercury from the ground. On the other hand, depending on the region, wild mushrooms can still be radioactive as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety advises consumers not to eat more than 200 to 250 grams per week. In children, consumption should be lower according to their body weight. There are no reservations about occasional enjoyment, even in large quantities. However, all wild mushrooms must be thoroughly heated before eating - at 70 degrees Celsius for two minutes. Then they are easier to digest.
Heike Kreutz, aid