Mushrooms, how to avoid surprises

Every year hundreds of cases of mushroom poisoning are recorded and unfortunately the outcome is sometimes fatal. The unpleasant encounter with poisonous mushrooms is however absolutely avoidable and the precautions to be taken to avoid bringing them to the table are few and simple.

Then there are further attentions to ward off other surprises that, although not lethal, can be very unpleasant.

Contact the ASL

Most Italian mushroom pickers feel so expert that they don't have their harvest checked before eating it or offering it to relatives and friends. The edibility of the mushrooms should be checked by going to the local ASL.

The same is true when you receive as a gift mushrooms collected from others who have taken loot in the woods but have not carried out checks in the appropriate locations.

The service at the ASL is free and accessible to everyone, why not take advantage of it?

Mushroom poisoning mechanisms

The poisoning ingestion of poisonous mushrooms not controlled by a mycologist is the most dangerous form of mushroom poisoning, but it is not the only one.

Other intoxication mechanisms are:

> Ingestion of not properly cooked edible mushrooms. For example, nails ( Armillaria mellea ) should be boiled before being added to any recipe; there are also other species that must be cooked for a sufficiently long period, for example Boletus luridus, Amanita vaginata and Clitocybe nebularis .

> Ingestion of spoiled edible mushrooms .

> Consumption of mushrooms with hallucinogenic qualities. In the case of hallucinogenic foxes intoxication can also occur in ways other than ingestion.

The quantities of fungi that intoxicate and some tips

As for poisonous mushrooms, a minimum quantity is sufficient.

As regards, instead, the risks related to edible mushrooms, one should be careful about the freshness, the correct cooking methods and avoid excessive consumption both in terms of frequency and quantity .

Poisonous mushroom toxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing . By drying them, the toxin concentrates and becomes even more risky.

Attention also to mushrooms in oil, which must be prepared using a sufficient amount of vinegar to prevent botulinum toxin from forming.

Mushrooms kept in the freezer must be consumed within a maximum of two months. Children and pregnant women should pay particular attention to the consumption of mushrooms, even the most valuable ones.

What to do if you feel sick

If you experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating mushrooms, you should immediately seek assistance.

If the complaints appear after having ingested mushrooms cultivated or controlled by the mycologist at the local health authority, it is sufficient to consult the attending physician. If, on the other hand, you feel ill after eating uncontrolled mushrooms, it is essential to go immediately to the nearest emergency room bringing with you the residues of the mushrooms consumed, including the parts that were discarded during cleaning.

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