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case of mushroom poisoning in france

Here is a reminder for mushroom foragers to be v careful !

Here's the same story in English :

if they had the sense to pop to the local pharmacy the staff are trained in shroom id Mad self inflicted with stupidity .
blasted things are unmistakable if one examines them properly some of the other nasties are harder to seperate from edible ones
be careful out there folk

It is an important reminder to be certain of your identification, or at least certain that the shroom is not poisonous in any way before consuming. I would like to think it is certainly not a mistake I would make, but it helps not to be over confident. However, I am not sure when the last case of poisoning from a fresh shroom was in the UK, but I don't want to be the latest!

My mum came back from France recently and said the local pharmacies all had mushroom identification posters in the windows. How civilised.

Dix personnes dont sept dans un état grave sont hospitalisées au CHU de Rennes après avoir mangé des champignons toxiques ramassés en forêt, a indiqué samedi le centre antipoison du CHU actualisant un bilan diffusé plus tôt dans la matinée.

Ten people have been hospitalised in Rennes, seven in a grave condition, after eating toxic mushrooms gathered in the forest - according to a second bulletin released by the toxicology dept on {last} Saturday.

Les champignons en cause sont du type amanite phalloïde ou vireuse, ou lépiotes.

The mushrooms causing this are Amanita Phaloides or in english the "Death Cap".

La directrice départementale des affaires sanitaires et sociales (DASS) d'Ille-et-Vilaine, Michèle Chaussumier, a mis en garde en particulier "les ramasseurs qui se croient avertis".

The departmental director of the medical and social affairs (DASS) of Ille-et-Vilaine, Michele Chaussumier, has warned in particular “the collectors who believe themselves informed ".

So there's a warning not to be over-confident!

Personally, IMHO, it is prudent (and then some) for beginning fungus foragers to first learn to identify the mushrooms that are *dangerous* to eat, and then to learn to distinguish those that are *good* to eat from the vast majority that aren't worth bothering with.

If nothing else, do make sure you can identify the Death Cap.
It and its close relatives are the most common, most deadly mushrooms you are likely to find.

French deaths from Amanita poisoning

Sad As I have said before, I will not even try an Amanita, after having spent over 30 years looking for edible mushrooms. As a family, they are too variable to ID correctly, unless you spend more time than required for the things to start rotting anyway. The only one, as far as I know that is worth eating at all is the Caesers mushroom, which I am told (by the guy who had not killed himself in the process) was 'quite nice'. Before attempting to eat any mushroom/fungus, make sure you have read the following post, identify it thoroughly from several books that contain photos and put pics of the mushroom cap, stalk, base and cut-through cross-section on this site so others can help with the ID. There are plenty of other edible ones out there without having to guess on the Amanitas.

In UK we tend to be wary of mushrooms for a good reason - in France, a lot of people think they know what they are picking and are a lot more relaxed about the subject - sometimes this backfires.

The translation is incorrect, as the mushrooms also included lepiota and amanita virosa.
I have tasted amanita caesarea last week in Italy. Nothing special at all, I'm afraid.
I've been tempted numerous times to try amanita fulva, but never dared.
A. Rubescens is another one I'll never ever try.

Grisettes and tawny grisettes are amanita species, and both are rather gastronomic. Most tasty.

This news story hasn't hit the microbiology news feeds or communities yet. I'm waiting to see what comes out of that, you often get more details that way.

I'm fond of tawny grisettes too, and they're very distinctive once you've positively iD'd your first one.

Did you get many grisettes this year nettie?

pizza wrote:
The translation is incorrect, as the mushrooms also included lepiota and amanita virosa.

Sorry, I was rushing somewhat. And now.

Les champignons en cause sont du type amanite phalloïde ou vireuse, ou lépiotes.
That is Amanita Phaloides {the death cap} *OR* {Amanita} Virosa {the destroying angel} *OR* Lepiotas causing this.
The word *or* is significant, not least that it ain't the word *and*.
It sounds like there is some uncertainty.

The Lepiotas include the Parasol and Shaggy Parasol.
BUT there are a couple of *deadly* *mini* "Parasols" that folks should be aware of. They are pretty uncommon (I believe) in the UK.

However, Amanitas (and notably Phaloides) are pretty common. And very deadly.

L'intoxication crée des problèmes hépatiques très graves, nécessitant parfois une greffe.

Serious liver damage is typical of Amanitas (dunno about the bad Lepiotas). But I've not previously heard of it being treated by a transplant...

Any other reports on these cases?

No reports in the 'serious' sources yet, but thats not surprising.

Recent cases of poisoning in the Ukraine and Russia though. Annual event really. Oh, and some nasty cases of botulism from 'canned' mushrooms in Russia at the end of August, if memory serves.

This kind of thing does happen. Its a salient reminder that you do have to know what you're doing if you're going to forage.

indeed caution is good
livia's 2000 yr reputation comes from her ability to hire poisoners that knew the shrooms
dinner good ,untimely death bad .
i got my first positive id today on a russula cavipes (inc taste ,ugh)and thats another nasty off the dinner menu Laughing but the taste test on rubbing my lip would have clued me up to it not being nice (with this one but some very , very baddies taste ok ) still stings a bit like dental anaesthetic wearing off .dont try this at home folks
30 odd years and im just starting and very cautious .
to misquote a wise one "no old , bold ,shroomers "
its better to forgo dinner than need a liver transplant or forgo life
green plants and worldwide some critters are dangeroos eating as well so be sensible and check,learn and if in dought go hungry til you are sure please .

Speaking to my french-resident brother, he was aware of the news story, but believed that the fuss was because the anti-poison clinic was dealing with ten fairly serious cases simultaneously, rather than maybe less than one a month as was typical. (And he seemed to think that many others had been discharged to other hospitals with less serious symptoms.)
There's not much online support for that, just several rehashes of the original story - which seems to have been distributed by Agence France Presse.
However, just 10 days ago this case was being reported
From that case, I gather that:
This patient had a liver transplant (possibly on Oct 14th) in Paris - so she isn't being counted in the Rennes ten.
Amanita Phaloides is responsible for about 90% of fatal poisonings from mushrooms {it ain't called Death Cap for nothing}
One Dr Bastien has demonstrated successfully (some years ago, and on himself) that Vitamin C, taken soon after the Death Cap, was an effective antidote. However, its usually way too late... hence the transplant.
All the toxic Lepiotas (nasty mini parasols) have caps less than 5cm across...

From that France3 link above, comes this
Chaque année on déplore de nombreux décès après ingestion de champignons toxiques.
Which I translate as
"Each year the numerous deaths after eating toxic mushrooms are regretted." {more literally "one deplores the numerous deceases"}

So please, can someone find real statistics for the annual death toll from toxic musrooms in France? Whats with this "numerous" deaths "each year"?

And it seems that the proliferation of mushrooms this year in France (including the nasties) has lead to the Government issuing a cautionary Press Release:
Sound advice.

Shame that British pharmacists don't have any such expertise...

EDIT: spotted a small typo

Shame that British pharmacists don't have any such expertise...

I suspect they'd probably be too worried about the potential for litigation to want to take it on anyway.

From this page
dated the 28th Oct, it seems to me that Rennes had 10 patients and had released seven (more?) back to general hospitals.
Of Rennes' 10 patients, 2 had required liver transplants. One was a Mayor of somewhere. (EDIT: Mayor of Montrésor Google cache ) Its not clear to me whether the other was the "young wife" who had her transplant after being helicoptered to Paris, or whether she was a third transplant patient (since I don't think she was treated at Rennes).

This story makes clear that those treated had come from a variety of different places, at different times - it wasn't one poisoned feast.
Au total ces deux dernières semaines, le CHU a accueilli 10 personnes originaires de Bretagne, des Pays-de-la-Loire et de la région Centre, dans un état grave parce qu'elles avaient ingéré des amanites phalloïdes ou des lépiotes, annonçait la préfecture vendredi.

And, if the prefecture spokesman was correct, there were yet more cases in other parts of France
D'autres "épisodes similaires" d'intoxications ont été observés dans l'est de la France fin août et en Aquitaine au début du mois, a ajouté la préfecture sans plus de précision.

The news isn't that someone has been poisoned, its that so many have been.

A fuller quote from the Doctor included the comment
"Il faut identifier scientifiquement le champignon. Il ne suffit pas de l'avoir vu sur internet ou même d'avoir des images sur soi, il faut avoir lu des livres", martèle le docteur Baert.
Link to Google cache
Translated by me as: "It ain't enough to look at pictures on the Internet, it is necessary to have read some books. "

Also, I learn that the CHU at Rennes is France's 2nd liver transplant centre, so its likely the "young wife" sent to Paris from Poitiers was the third requiring a transplant.

Oh yes, the treatment before transplantation is considered is still to filter the blood.
Would they do an emergency liver transplant on the NHS?

I think that the problem is largely caused by the the rise in mushroom sales and the current English feeling that every French Man/Woman should be a gastronome. That's what my brother-in-law's wife says, and she's French (I also think she's right and all caused by the expectations us foreigners have of French food). Anthony Worrall-Thompson has an awful lot to answer for. Wink tongue

i got lots of blewits yesterday and even though ive doulble id them i had one and the rest are tonights supper Wink
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