A New Years’ Eve party in Australia took a tragic turn when death cap mushrooms were mistaken for straw fungi and served up as part of the evening meal.
Four of the guests were rushed to hospital after eating the poisonous mushrooms. One was later discharged, while two of the dinner guests unfortunately died.
The death cap mushroom, while abundant in certain areas of Australia, can also be found closer to home. In 2010, one woman died and another was seriously ill after they cooked and ate mushrooms they had mistakenly identified and picked at a botanical garden.
We often associate food poisoning with a bad case of vomiting and diarrhoea, and yet, as these and other cases prove, the consequences can be devastating. Eating toxic produce or failing to respect food hygiene can prove fatal.
It is essential that those preparing and serving food possess enough knowledge of the risks involved to be able to prepare food safely. This is particularly important in the case of businesses serving food products, and employees must receive adequate food safety training before being allowed to serve the public.