English: Full page of mushroom illustrations from the instructional pamphlet "Twelve edible mushrooms of the United States" by Thomas Taylor, illustrating all 12 species. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The New Jersey Department of Health is reminding residents to be aware of the dangers of eating wild mushrooms.
Wild mushrooms often look like harmless edible mushrooms but are poisonous. Even a few bites of these mushrooms can cause severe illness such as intense vomiting and diarrhea, damage to vital organs and in some cases can cause death,
"Since there is no easy way to tell the difference between poisonous and harmless mushrooms, the best advice is not to eat wild mushrooms," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "Even experienced mushroom pickers can be fooled at times, so this warning needs to be given and taken seriously. Children should be taught never to put wild plants, berries, nuts, or mushrooms into their mouths. And keep in mind pets are susceptible to mushroom poisoning as well."
Since August 1, the Department has received 11 reports of mushroom poisoning cases. All became sick after eating wild mushrooms.
The New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) recommends if someone in your family eats wild mushrooms, call the NJ Poison Experts at 1-800-222-1222. Having a poison expert give you exact instructions for a specific situation can help significantly during those critical first few minutes