Selling wild mushrooms

Businesses are strongly recommended NOT to sell or encourage consumption of wild mushrooms because of the risk of poisoning your customers.

About wild mushrooms

Eating a poisonous mushroom can make a person very ill, ranging from gastrointestinal illness to severe organ failure and death.

Each year more than 100 calls are made to the Poisons Information Hotline for medical advice following exposure to mushrooms. Around 30% of those persons are referred to or in hospital with suspected mushroom poisoning.

Most cases of mushroom poisoning occur when poisonous species are mistaken for edible ones. At least seven people have died in Australia after mistakenly eating Death Cap mushrooms.

Accurate native and exotic fungi identification requires advanced skills, knowledge, and experience in the South Australian environment. It can be difficult, even for experienced mycologists (fungi specialists), to tell the difference between poisonous and edible mushrooms.

Cooking, peeling, soaking, or drying poisonous mushrooms does not make them safe to eat.

Advice for businesses

Selling wild mushrooms is an inherently dangerous activity because of the risk of mushroom poisoning. A much safer alternative is to consume only cultivated mushrooms sourced from a reputable supplier or grow your own known species.

Businesses that choose to forage, or encourage consumption of foraged mushrooms, and/or sell wild mushrooms accept the inherent food safety risk.

The sale of unsafe food is an offence under the Food Act 2001 and may incur penalties. Offences and penalties may also apply under the Public Health Act 2011 or Civil Liability Act 1936.

Poisonous mushroom varieties

Several varieties of poisonous mushrooms grow in South Australia, including: