No mushrooms in pregnancy and children under 12


The Ministry of Health has developed an agile booklet for the prevention of poisoning and poisoning by mushrooms. The brochure presents various topics related to the consumption of mushrooms: from harvesting methods to conservation methods, from the type of syndromes they can be responsible for, to therapies in case of intoxication, plus various tips for eating them safely. Let's see what it is.

Read also: when can children eat mushrooms?

Mushrooms: the possible risks

The greatest risks, the experts point out, derive from the existence in nature of "look-alike mushrooms": poisonous mushrooms but very similar to edible mushrooms, which can therefore be collected and brought to the table if those who collect them are not sufficiently expert or have not had them checked by an expert. It can happen, for example, with the Amanita muscaria, a poisonous double of the good Amanita caesarea, or with the Galerina marginata, a poisonous double of the good Pholiota mutabilis. In this regard, the indication is simple:

Better not trust the experience: it is always possible to have the mushrooms collected by an ASL mycologist checked for free

Moreover, every year many intoxications are caused by edible mushrooms but collected in unsuitable places (for example because they are excessively polluted, as can be the edges of the roads) or badly stored or prepared.

The possible symptoms

Depending on the time elapsed between the ingestion of toxic mushrooms and the appearance of symptoms, the following are distinguished:

1 Short latency syndromes

They have symptoms that appear 30 minutes to 6 hours after ingestion, resolve in about 24 hours and have a low risk to life. Possible symptoms include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration;
  • sleepiness, agitation, disorientation, convulsions;
  • sweating, tearing, hypotension, breathing difficulties;
  • hallucinations;
  • skin redness, agitation, hypotension;
  • hemolytic anemia;
  • transient renal failure.

2 Long latency syndromes

They have symptoms that appear 6 to 20 hours after ingestion and are life-threatening. Possible symptoms include:

  • repeated episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, hepatitis, acute with possible need for transplant;
  • kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation;
  • drowsiness, agitation, convulsions, muscle contracture, haemolytic anemia, hepatorenal damage.

10 golden rules for not getting intoxicated

  1. do not consume mushrooms not checked by a real mycologist;
  2. consume moderate amounts;
  3. do not give to children (Francesca Assisi made it clear to that mushrooms shouldn't never given by children under 12 years old);
  4. do not ingest during pregnancy;
  5. consume only in perfect condition;
  6. consume well-cooked mushrooms and chew properly;
  7. blanch the mushrooms before freezing and consume them within 6 months;
  8. do not consume mushrooms collected along the roads, near industrial and cultivated centers (there is a risk that they will be contaminated by pesticides);
  9. do not give away the collected mushrooms, unless checked by a professional mycologist;
  10. remember that botulinum toxin can develop in mushrooms in oil
How to transport freshly picked mushrooms
According to the indications of the Ministry of Health, the collected mushrooms are transported in rigid and aerated containers (for example wicker baskets) which allow the further dissemination of the spores (important for environmental conservation) ed avoid phenomena of compression and fermentation of mushrooms.

Indeed, storing or transporting fresh mushrooms in air-tight packaging and containers, such as plastic bags, can cause the proteins to break down by fermentation.

It should be remembered that quite quickly, with heat, the production of toxic substances such as putrescine, cadaverine, histamine, etc. is detected. these decomposition products can cause severe poisoning.

Some myths of popular tradition to dispel

  1. it is not true that all fungi that grow on trees are non-toxic
  2. it is not true that they are good if they have been eaten by parasites
  3. it is not true that they become poisonous when grown near rusty irons
  4. it is not true that mushrooms that change color when cut are poisonous
  5. it is not true that the poisonousness of the mushroom is given by its appearance

We also remind you that:

  • there are empirical methods (such as tests with garlic, silver coins, etc.) to verify whether a mushroom is edible or poisonous;
  • cooking, drying or other methods do not serve to make deadly mushrooms less toxic;
  • the most dangerous toxins are thermostable and therefore do not lose their toxicity even with cooking;
  • however, all mushrooms should be eaten well cooked, because when raw they are poorly digestible, if not even poisonous (the common "nail" Armillaria mellea is toxic if pre-boiling is not carried out for at least 15-20 minutes before final cooking).

Mushrooms: a vademecum for children in the form of a fable

Furthermore, to help consumers, the ministry has also developed a vademecum in fairy tale format, therefore also suitable for children, to orient themselves in the world of fungi and poisoning. With pictures of good mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms in comparison.


Foods that are not good for children (PHOTO)

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The list of foods FORBIDDEN to children up to three years and the foods that children up to three years must eat in MINIMUM QUANTITY and even after the age of three they should be ...

Updated on 18.09.2022

  • mushrooms
  • poison control center
  • intoxications
  • pregnancy feeding
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