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Some wild mushrooms can be extremely poisonous if eaten. It is very difficult to tell the difference between poisonous and harmless mushrooms.

“Old wives’ tales” and internet tricks to determine if a mushroom is safe to eat are unproven and can be dangerous. Many serious poisonings happen because people mistake toxic and nontoxic mushrooms. Only a trained expert should try to identify them.

Cooking does NOT inactivate or remove all toxins.


What can happen if someone eats a mushroom found outside?

Children and adults can become very ill from eating mushrooms found outside and can experience:

• nausea
• vomiting
• abdominal pain
• confusion
 Although rare, some mushrooms can cause more serious symptoms including:

• delirium
• seizures
• liver failure
• death

Prevention and First Aid

1. Make sure your yard is free of mushrooms before toddlers and young children are allowed outside to play in the area.

2. If a child eats a mushroom, immediately remove any remaining mushroom pieces from the mouth.

3. Save the other parts of the mushroom, so NC Poison Control can help identify it. Store the mushroom parts in a paper bag in the refrigerator, NOT a plastic bag, as plastic can break down the mushroom faster making it harder to identify. Label the bag DO NOT EAT.

4. Don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Call NC Poison Control right away.

Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about an exposure to mushrooms or chat from this site for more information and treatment advice.



Last Updated on 12/04/2023