Tsukiyotake Mushrooms Mistaken for Hiratake Mushrooms
On October 31st, in Fukui Prefecture, there was a report that three people (of different ages ranging from 60 years old) living in Echizen City ate poisonous tsukiyotake mushrooms, picked from the mountains within the city, resulting in an outbreak of food poisoning. The three are related through family, and ate the mushrooms after being mistaken for the edible hiratake mushrooms (also known as “oyster mushrooms”). After experiencing symptoms including vomiting and stomach pain, they visited the hospital; but having already recovered upon arriving, they were discharged. Food poisoning caused by poisonous mushrooms have been occurring since October 2014.
According to the Fukui Prefecture Pharmaceutical and Food Products – Sanitation Department, on the afternoon of October 27, a man picked mushrooms within the mountains of Echizen City, and brought it home. After stir-frying and eating the mushrooms for lunch, symptoms arose, and the man underwent an examination in a medical institution. The prefecture received a report from the fire department, and upon investigating the remaining stocks of mushrooms, concluded that the man had consumed tsukiyotake mushrooms.
Through summer and autumn, tsukiyotake mushrooms grow en masse on piles of dead trees, such as on the Japanese beech tree. Tsukiyotake is easily mistaken for other edible mushrooms including hiratake, mukitake, and shiitake. When eating, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and other digestive-related poisoning symptoms can appear from 30 minutes to an hour.
“Food poisoning due to wild mushrooms happens across the country. An ordinary person judging whether or not something is edible is extremely difficult. In situations where you cannot reliably determine if something is safe for consumption, absolutely do not harvest, eat, or give it to anyone, says a prefectural Pharmaceutical and Food Products – Sanitation Department associate.