The potentially lethal Death Cap mushroom has recently been found under oak trees in the Adelaide Hills, prompting SA Health to issue a warning for South Australians to avoid foraging in the area.

“Ingestion of the Death Cap mushroom can lead to severe abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and in more serious cases can cause liver damage, kidney failure and even death,” said State Herbarium Honorary Research associate, Pam Catcheside.

“People may think they know how to spot a poisonous mushroom, but unless you are an expert there is no reliable way to identify dangerous fungi from harmless varieties in the wild.”

In 2012, a chef and a kitchen hand from a bistro in the Harmonie German Club in the Canberra suburb of Narrabundah died after eating a stir-fry containing Death Cap mushrooms, and in 2014 three people from the same household were hospitalised after eating the mushrooms, which they claimed they bought from a Woolworths store.

At the time, ACT chief health officer, Paul Kelly, said there was no evidence the mushrooms came from Woolworths, and the assumption was that the mushrooms were picked.


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