Poisonous wild mushrooms can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain/cramps, diarrhoea and hallucinations.

Last updated: 26 February 2015

What is a mushroom?

Mushrooms are fruiting structures produced by some types of fungi. The mushroom helps these fungi reproduce as the spores are formed underneath the mushroom’s cap.

What is mushroom poisoning?

Eating wild mushrooms can cause mushroom poisoning. Most cases occur when toxic species are confused with species that can be eaten.

Who is at risk of mushroom poisoning?

All humans can become unwell from toxins present in the poisonous wild mushrooms. Cooking, boiling or heating wild mushrooms does not make them safe to eat. It is best to avoid eating wild mushrooms.

What are the symptoms of mushroom poisoning?

Poisonous wild mushrooms can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain/cramps, diarrhoea and hallucinations. Some mushrooms can cause liver/kidney failure and death. Symptoms may occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after ingestion depending on type and amount of poisonous mushroom consumed; and the general health of the individual.

How can I identify edible mushrooms from poisonous mushrooms?

There is no easy way to distinguish between an edible mushroom and poisonous mushroom. It is recommended that you only eat mushrooms you have purchased from the supermarket or green grocer.

Who should I contact, if I suspect mushroom poisoning?

If you suspect mushroom poisoning, do not wait for symptoms to occur. Contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 urgently (24 hours, 7 days a week).

In an emergency, Call 000 for an ambulance or seek treatment through your doctor or the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital. If you have a sample of the mushroom that you have eaten, take it with you so that the medical staff can get the species that you ate identified.

Further information

Page Updated: Thursday 26 February 2015