Gov’t plea to avoid wild mushrooms after suspected food poisonings

Flickr/DarmstadtKoeln

Is that mushroom on the side of the road poisonous or not? The Centre for Health Protection says it’s best not to find out.

The agency is currently investigating three suspected cases of food poisoning related to eating wild mushrooms. According to a statement released Tuesday, one man and two women between the ages of 37 and 58 went to the United Christian Hospital for abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting shortly after picking and eating mushrooms near Ligang Park in Kwun Tong.

They did not require hospitalization, and are now in stable condition.

“Members of the public should not pick wild mushrooms for consumption as it is difficult to distinguish edible mushroom species from inedible ones,” the CHP warned, adding that death can result in the most severe cases.

The agency also advised people to seek “immediate medical attention” should they suspect poisoning by mushrooms, and to bring any remnants of the mushrooms for identification.

Such cases are not uncommon, with a total of 72 reported between 2005 and 2017, according to Dr. Alvin M.C. Tang, a course coordinator and lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University.

The CHP, for example, issued a warning earlier in January after people consumed a mix of porcini mushrooms that was suspected of containing both edible and inedible species.

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