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World's Most Dangerous Foods

Wild Mushrooms, Headache, Death

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Wild Mushrooms

Threat: Anything between a headache and death

Wild-mushroom picking is a great tradition in various fungus-friendly parts of the world, but beware: toxic mushrooms can look almost exactly like safe ones. Your best bet is to go with a “hunting” club or any expert-led group. “There is always the danger of a poisonous mushroom getting mixed in with the edible ones,” says Harry Cashy, a specialist for the travel assistance and security company MEDEX Global Group. Two notorious mushrooms—the pale or white Amanita phalloides, known as the “death cap,” and the Amanita ocreata—look deceptively benign. Weekend mushroom hunters in France have also been known to take their harvests to the local pharmacy for inspection.

Prognosis: Depends on what kind you eat and how many—even “safe” mushrooms can become toxic if you binge on them. Symptoms can range from stomach cramps or a headache to liver failure and death. Poisoning is treated with activated charcoal, fluids, and sometimes dialysis.

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