How to Spot Bad Mushrooms and Avoid Food Poisoning

by iupilon

How to Tell If A Mushroom Is Bad?

It’s a key cooking skill if you know how to tell if mushrooms are bad. Eating spoiled or rotten mushrooms can cause gastrointestinal illness and even poisoning. It’s not the mushrooms that will get you – it’s the microbes that eventually colonize and take over mushrooms once they are spoiled. Below are some ways to determine if mushrooms have spoiled while in storage:

  • Check the entire mushroom and see if the surface is already wrinkling or if there are already shriveled areas. Shriveling is the first sign that mushrooms are beginning to degrade. As much as possible, eat fresh mushrooms and try to consume them before they begin to shrivel up.
  • Inspect the surface of the mushrooms and see if there are any brown or black spots. Any discolorations will signal something wrong with your mushrooms, and you should likely toss them.
  • Slimy mushrooms are abnormal, and they should not be eaten. The best mushrooms have good color, firm flesh, and do not have any slime. Slime is a sign of decomposition.
  • Smell your mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms have very little smell. There might be a little earthy smell, but that’s it. If you smell sourness or any strange stink, then toss your mushrooms in the bin.
  • Determine really good mushrooms from fake, bad ones. For instance, when comparing Turkey Tail vs False Turkey Tail, the color, shape, algae presence, detail, and growth are important considerations.

Store-bought mushrooms should always be kept for a maximum of ten days only, even in the fridge. This applies to portabella mushrooms, cremini, and white mushrooms as well. Mushrooms that have already been displayed for a week in any store will likely spoil quickly once brought home.

What Will Happen If You Eat Bad Mushrooms?

Eating spoiled mushrooms can have serious health consequences. Consuming mushrooms that have gone bad can cause gastrointestinal illness and even poisoning. This is because, over time, mushrooms become susceptible to colonization by harmful bacteria and other microbes. When this happens, the mushrooms become contaminated and can cause illness if consumed.

According to a study published in the journal Food Control, certain species of mushrooms are more likely to become contaminated with harmful bacteria than others. For example, the study found that Agaricus bisporus, a common type of mushroom, is particularly susceptible to contamination by pathogenic bacteria like Escherichia coli and Salmonella.

Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. In severe cases, mushroom poisoning can lead to liver failure and even death. It’s important to always check for signs of spoilage before consuming mushrooms, and to discard any mushrooms that show signs of being spoiled.

To avoid the risks associated with consuming spoiled mushrooms, it’s important to store mushrooms properly and to consume them within a few days of purchase. It’s also a good idea to cook mushrooms thoroughly, as cooking can help to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

What To Do If You Eat Bad Mushrooms?

If you believe you’ve consumed toxic or harmful mushrooms, take quick action to minimize potential health risks. Stop eating the mushrooms and stay composed, avoiding unnecessary panic. Note the physical characteristics of the mushrooms. Avoid attempting home remedies or self-treatment, leaving the assessment and treatment to experienced healthcare professionals.

Bring a sample of the mushroom or any remaining parts you didn’t consume to the hospital for identification. While waiting for medical assistance, you can stay hydrated by drinking water, but refrain from inducing vomiting, using activated charcoal, or taking over-the-counter remedies unless directed by medical professionals. Follow the guidance of healthcare providers after seeking medical attention, as they may monitor your condition and administer appropriate treatments, including activated charcoal or antidotes if available.

Prevention is the most effective strategy, so exercise caution and seek expert advice when foraging or consuming wild mushrooms, and when in doubt, avoid them altogether. Keep in mind that certain toxic mushrooms can lead to severe health effects or even fatality, underscoring the importance of immediate medical attention in case of suspected mushroom poisoning.

In conclusion, it’s important to avoid eating spoiled mushrooms, as they can cause serious illness. By storing mushrooms properly and checking for signs of spoilage before consuming them, you can reduce the risk of mushroom poisoning and enjoy this delicious and nutritious food safely.

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