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Toxic or spoiled: Minister of Health warns of fungal poisoning
The mushroom season has begun: As every year, many Germans are drawn to meadows and forests in September to collect tasty mushrooms. Those who are not very knowledgeable live dangerously, because mix-ups can quickly lead to dangerous fungal poisoning. Partly fatal.
Experts expect a good mushroom season
Germany's forests could become a real paradise for mushroom pickers this year due to the weather. Especially in the south of the republic. Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml (CSU) said in a recent announcement: "Experts are expecting a significantly better mushroom season for Bavaria this year compared to the dry year 2015."
"This is good news for mushroom pickers, but serious health risks from poisonous or spoiled mushrooms should not be underestimated!" Warned the politician at the start of the "mushroom season".
Eight deadly species are known in Bavaria
There are thousands of different types of mushrooms (called “mushrooms” in Bavaria). In the Free State alone there are around 100 species that can harm your health. Up to eight species are even classified as deadly. Experts should be consulted to rule out the risk of poisoning from mushrooms you have collected yourself.
Apps and identification books are not enough
“If you want to be sure about mushroom picking, you should definitely seek advice from experienced mushroom pickers. A good option is to have the collected mushrooms examined by a certified mushroom consultant. In contrast, a provision with books or corresponding apps is not sufficient. Especially young, inexperienced mushroom pickers can get poisoning due to mix-ups, ”says Huml.
Help from experts
The Bavarian Mycological Society has provided a list of certified mushroom consultants and mushroom experts in Bavaria on its website. They carry out mushroom basket checks and provide information about mushroom types and poisoning. As a precaution, leaflets were distributed in several languages in refugee reception centers so that migrants do not confuse dangerous mushrooms with edible ones from their countries of origin.
“Experience from last year shows that the risk of fungal poisoning also affects migrants. The reason for this is that migrants repeatedly mistake edible mushrooms from their countries of origin for poisonous and unknown duplicates in Germany, ”explained the Minister. This is also shown by a case from Münster. There, a 16-year-old refugee from Syria died there last fall, who had accidentally consumed tuber agarics.
Symptoms can still appear after days
Fungus poisoning can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. "Symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness or sweating can also be symptoms of fungal poisoning," explained Huml.
According to health experts, mild fungal intoxications, which are not life-threatening, can occur between 15 minutes and four hours after eating the mushrooms and can last for several days. With severe and life-threatening poisoning, however, the first signs can be long in coming.
Anyone who suffers from corresponding symptoms after eating mushrooms should definitely seek help from a doctor or through the state's poison control center. (ad)