With the arrival of the rainy season, a large wave of wild mushrooms begins to emerge, tempting foodies to go mushroom picking, unable to resist the "temptation on the tip of the tongue."...

However, wild mushrooms come in various species, making it difficult for ordinary people to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous. Some wild mushrooms are highly toxic, with a high fatality rate if ingested, posing significant dangers.

What are poisonous mushrooms? How to identify them?

Poisonous mushrooms refer to large fungi that cause poisoning symptoms when consumed by humans. Every year, incidents of poisoning from wild mushrooms occur frequently. Poisonous mushroom poisoning ranks first among the causative factors of foodborne disease outbreaks.

Given the potent threat of poisonous mushrooms, how can ordinary people identify them? Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind us that some poisonous mushrooms in the wild resemble edible mushrooms in appearance. Distinguishing them requires specialized knowledge and the use of certain instruments.

Relying solely on the eye and superficial characteristics such as shape, smell, and colour makes it difficult to discern them and greatly increases the risk of ingestion-induced poisoning. Moreover, since they grow in the wild, non-toxic mushrooms often grow alongside toxic ones and can easily become contaminated by the mycelium of poisonous mushrooms.

Some non-toxic mushroom species that grow parasitically on toxic plants may become contaminated. Therefore, even if non-toxic mushroom varieties are consumed, there is still a risk of poisoning.

Experts advise that since identifying toxic fungi is difficult, people should avoid picking wild mushrooms during outdoor activities. Additionally, individuals should refrain from buying mushrooms from roadside vendors. Even when purchasing wild mushrooms from legitimate markets, vigilance should not be relaxed, especially with mushrooms that are unfamiliar or have not been consumed before. It's essential not to trust and consume them unquestioningly.

To avoid poisoning, the key to household food safety is refraining from casually consuming wild mushrooms. To ensure food safety, avoid processing and consuming wild mushrooms during collective gatherings, catering services, or folk tourism.

Currently, no simple, practical, and effective method exists to identify whether mushrooms are poisonous. The key to preventing and controlling mushroom poisoning is to refrain from unquestioningly consuming wild mushrooms. Opt for commercially cultivated mushrooms for consumption. If consuming wild mushrooms, purchase familiar varieties from reputable markets or regulated restaurants.

What are the symptoms of mushroom poisoning? How to self-rescue after poisoning?

If someone accidentally consumes poisonous mushrooms, what symptoms will occur?

And how should they self-rescue after poisoning? According to CDC experts, if someone experiences acute gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and blurred vision shortly after cooking and eating self-picked wild mushrooms, poisoning from poisonous mushrooms should be highly suspected.

1. If the person remains conscious, induce vomiting as soon as possible. This can be done by stimulating the back of the throat with fingers or using a tool to press the tongue, which can induce vomiting. Repeat the process to expel the stomach's contents as much as possible to reduce toxin absorption.

2. Currently, there is no specific antidote for mushroom poisoning. Therefore, seek immediate medical treatment at a reputable hospital after poisoning. It's advisable to bring along any remaining mushroom samples to identify the mushroom species, which will help determine the appropriate treatment measures and assess the prognosis.