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Wild Mushrooms

Death Cap, Amanita phalloides

Poisonous mushrooms that grow under oaks and are abundant in California can easily be mistaken for other edible mushrooms. Poisonous mushrooms typically look like most edible mushrooms and are not always brightly colored.

Death due to eating wild mushrooms is uncommon but does occur. Learn how to identify and prevent exposure to wild mushrooms.

About Wild Mushroom Poisoning

Eating poisonous mushrooms can cause symptoms that typically develop 6 to 12 hours after eating. The most serious illnesses and deaths have been linked to eating mushrooms that cause liver damage. These mushrooms include Amanita ocreata or the “destroying angel,” as well as Amanita phalloides or the "death cap."

Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver damage
  • Death

Prevent Wild Mushroom Poisoning

The only safe mushrooms are those purchased at established food markets.

  • Buy cultivated mushrooms at a reputable food market.
  • Do not eat wild mushrooms that were picked by friends or family members.

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