Prevention of Mushroom Poisoning

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Mushroom Poisoning and the Laboratory's Role in Monitoring Patients. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Prevention of Mushroom Poisoning

It is not news to anyone that many people enjoy mushrooms as a culinary delight—either by themselves or as an enhancement to other dishes. The important thing is that people should have a pleasurable experience eating the mushrooms, not be sickened by them. The quick and easy answer to avoiding mushroom poisoning is to only dine on mushrooms that have been commercially grown. These are a known and the chances of a gastrointestinal upset will probably be near zero. Foraging and eating wild mushroom is another matter but for many a very pleasurable experience. For those with limited mushroom foraging skills a trained mycologist or a person who is highly knowledgeable about mushrooms in the area should help or advise in the collection.While having such an individual available is no guarantee, the odds of a gastrointestinal event or worse are less likely. There is an old Serbian axiom that goes: “All mushrooms are edible—at least once.”