September 19, 2014

Elyria
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Officials: Avoid eating those wild mushrooms

Elyria and Lorain health officials are warning wild food enthusiasts to stop foraging for wild mushrooms following the illness of several Avon Lake residents who were hospitalized after eating a dish made with one of them.

The advisory, which was issued jointly by the Elyria and Lorain City Health Departments, notes that many varieties of mushrooms that grow in the wild are toxic enough to be fatal if eaten.

Health officials said they are most concerned with the amanita, a common type of wild mushroom dubbed the “death cap” for its ability to cause severe liver damage or death if consumed.

Poisons found in some of the most dangerous varieties of wild mushrooms cannot be destroyed by cooking, freezing or boiling.

As a result, health officials have warned the public to buy mushrooms from grocery stores or other established sources.

According to the advisory, a number of Avon Lake residents were treated after they ate chicken cacciatore that was made with amanita mushrooms.

Kathy Loughrie, director of public health nursing for the Elyria and Lorain City Health Departments, stated an increase in the number of people sickened after eating poisonous wild mushrooms may be due to an abundant area crop produced with the help of the year’s unusually wet spring and early autumn.

Health officials said wild mushroom poisoning can produce symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, severe diarrhea and low blood pressure.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.