Sources: NJ Poison Control Center; Special Olympics NJ
A good portion of the summer has been plagued by soaring temperatures, high humidity and soaking rains — the perfect recipe for a dangerous mushroom season in the Garden State. Nearly four dozen mushroom exposure cases were managed by the New Jersey Poison Control Center this year already.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include intense vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration, damage to vital organs — and even death.
“This is a serious issue. No matter the scenario, it is unsafe to pick and eat mushrooms found in the wild,” says Dr. Diane Calello of the NJ Poison Control Center and Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine.
“Many edible mushrooms have toxic look-a-likes. The cooking process does not prevent the toxic health effects of some mushrooms. Depending on the type of mushroom, eating even a few bites can cause serious health concerns. Fortunately, mushroom poisoning can be prevented by simply not eating wild mushrooms.”
Children and pets are often intrigued by mushroom patches growing in back yards make sure to always supervise them outdoors. In case of ingestion, do not wait for symptoms to appear.
Remove any remaining parts of the mushroom from the victim’s mouth. Before removing all mushrooms that are in the immediate vicinity of the incident, try to take a photo of them, and include a ruler or coin to give a sense of scale. The mushrooms and its removed fragments should be placed in paper (NOT plastic) bags.
The Poison Control Center’s Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Saturday, Sept. 29th • 8:00 AM • Newark Liberty Airport