At the end of the mushroom season, mushroom experts warn against blind trust in apps. Numerous applications are designed to help identify mushrooms, but one wrong answer can cost lives in case of doubt. “I do not hope that people collect only after such a mushroom app,” said Katrin Romanek, specialist in internal medicine and senior physician at the poison control center in Munich, on Thursday. Because: Mushrooms “can look extremely different, depending on how young or old the fruiting body is, and also depending on the weather, they can be very different.”
If in doubt, ask an expert
“Apps and books are very well suited to familiarize yourself with the topic”, explained Klaus Bornstedt, whose app “Meine Pilze” recorded more than 100,000 downloads. It is not enough for more than an initial assessment: “Before you eat an unknown mushroom, you should always make yourself smart about a mushroom consultation.” 381 people have already called the poison center in Munich this year. Less than last year, but there are “quite a few serious mushroom poisonings,” as Romanek explains. An exact number could not be given.
Above all, the orange-foxed Raukopf was responsible for many calls. “After several days, this fungus causes kidney damage up to and including kidney failure requiring dialysis,” warned Romanek of the fungus, which is often mistaken for yellow feet.
For laypeople, she has a simple advice: “If you don’t know one hundred percent what you are doing, then you should only collect tubular mushrooms – not lamellar mushrooms.”
There are mushroom consultations all over Germany. The service “Find mushroom experts” of the German Society for Mycology e. V. helps to find an expert nearby. If mushrooms you have picked yourself have been consumed and health problems arise as a result, an emergency doctor should be called or immediately a poison emergency hotline like in Munich be notified.