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Mushroom warning for Sussex foragers
7:00am Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
Food-lovers are being warned to take care when foraging for wild mushrooms around Sussex this autumn.
Every year scores of people need medical help after eating poisonous mushrooms and experts and health bosses say it is vital they take the necessary precautions.
The Health Protection Agency warns that some varieties are so toxic that they can prove fatal if eaten, while others cause sickness and severe cramps.
Toxins in some of the most dangerous mushrooms are also generally not destroyed by cooking.
Geoff Dann, from Brighton, is an expert on wild mushrooms and regularly takes people out on foraging sessions.
He said: “When it comes down to it, the obvious guidance is don't eat anything unless you know what it is
“It's only dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.
“Provided people follow some basic rules, then they can learn about foraging for mushrooms without poisoning themselves or causing any serious ecological damage.
“Some mushrooms don't kill right away. It can take a while for the toxins to build up and start damaging your kidneys, particularly if you eat loads of them.
“You have to be 100% certain and never take any risks.”