Death Cap mushrooms in ACT poisoning incident not from Woolworths

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th April 2014
Death Cap mushrooms in ACT poisoning incident not from Woolworths

Death Cap mushrooms consumed by three people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) over the weekend did not come from a Woolworths supermarket in the suburb of Dickson, according to ACT Health.

“Investigations by ACT Policing in the last 24 hours have found no evidence that the Death Cap mushrooms consumed by the patients were purchased from Woolworths in Dickson,” said Dr Paul Kelly, ACT Chief Health Officer.

“Our investigations are still ongoing as to the source of the Death Cap mushrooms, however this remains an isolated incident and there have been no other recent reports of Death Cap mushroom poisoning in the ACT,” Dr Kelly said.

Initially, the three patients affected by the mushrooms claimed to have purchased them from a Woolworths supermarket in the suburb of Dickson, on or around 17 April 2014. ACT Health said it worked closely with Woolworths to investigate the matter.

As a precaution, ACT Health had advised people who were displaying symptoms of stomach aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and who purchased and ate mushrooms from Woolworths in Dickson on or around 17 April 2014 to seek immediate medical attention. ACT Health had also advised that people who had mushrooms purchased from the Woolworths supermarket in Dickson around this time should discard them.

“We’d like to acknowledge the swift action taken by Woolworths in response to the initial information about the source of the mushrooms,” Dr Kelly said.

“Two of the patients remain in a stable condition in ACT hospitals, and one patient is currently receiving care at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney,” Dr Kelly said. “ACT Health is seeking co-operation in respecting the privacy of these patients during this time,” he said.

ACT Health emphasised that people should not pick and eat any wild mushrooms, saying that it could be extremely difficult for even experienced collectors to distinguish Death Cap mushrooms from other edible mushrooms.