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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.|
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NEWARK, N.J. — September 2, 2011 — The recent wet weather has produced a bumper crop of beautiful mushrooms across the state. Unfortunately, many delicious looking varieties are in fact, extremely poisonous. Several New Jersey residents have found themselves hospitalized with serious effects from eating what they believed to be innocent mushrooms. Two NJ residents are hospitalized, in critical condition, and may need liver transplants as the result of their misadventure. The New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) warn the public to refrain from eating mushrooms they find growing on their lawns or in the wild.
Mushroom picking has long been a passion of many gourmets. Unfortunately, many edible mushrooms have toxic “look-alikes.” The storms before her and Irene herself have produced an apparent explosion of toxic “look alikes.” There is no easy way to tell the difference between poisonous and harmless mushrooms. In addition, poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms can grow side by side. Even experienced mushroom pickers can be fooled at times, so this warning must be taken seriously. Children must be taught never to put wild plants, berries, nuts, or mushrooms into their mouths.
If an exposure should occur; remove any remaining parts of the mushroom from the victim’s mouth and place those fragments and all mushrooms that are in the immediate vicinity of the incident into one or more paper bags (NOT plastic!). IMMEDIATELY call the NJ poison experts at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center will arrange for an expert to identify the mushroom and the center can then provide advice on treatment depending on the mushroom's identification. A digital photograph should be taken of the mushroom(s) in question. It helps to take a picture of the mushroom next to other objects such as a coin, ruler, etc. to provide a sense of scale.
DO NOT TAKE CHANCES; call the NJ
NJPIES coordinates state poison education and research, and is designated as the regional poison center by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. It tracks incidences of adverse reactions to food, drugs and vaccines in order to monitor potential public health issues and provide data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A division of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health of the
Dr. Steven Marcus, Executive and Medical Director
Dr. Bruce Ruck, Director, Drug Information and Professional Education
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Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360