Record poisonings from wild mushrooms
Monday 27 September 2010
The number of people requiring medical treatment after eating poisonous fungi has risen dramatically this summer, prompting fears that many others will be taken ill during the remaining weeks of the wild mushroom season.
The Health Protection Agency's National Poisons Information Service has already received 209 calls this year from NHS staff attempting to treat suspected mushroom poisoning – a steep rise on last year's 123 enquiries and the 147 in 2008. One-third were for adults seeking medical attention after deliberately eating mushrooms they had picked.
The wild mushroom season began in late August and continues for several more weeks. A wet August and September have caused a bumper crop. Mushroom expert John Wright said that this had attracted many first-time foragers.
The UK's most commonly eaten poisonous mushroom is the yellow stainer, Mr Wright said, because it is easily confused with common edible varieties. "They look like your average field mushrooms or shop-bought mushrooms. You can tell they're dangerous, though, because the edge of the cap and the stem go bright chromium yellow when you rub them and they smell of Elastoplast."
The death cap is responsible for the majority of mushroom poisoning fatalities in the UK. In 2008, an Isle of Wight woman died after eating death caps. The author Nicholas Evans was hospitalised after eating deadly webcaps in Aberdeenshire.
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Food & Drink
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...