World's Most Dangerous Foods
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.