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Northeast Japan pref. sees multiple mushroom food poisoning cases ahead of picking season

Poisonous tsukiyotake mushrooms are seen in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture, in this file photo from Sept. 26, 2018. (Mainichi/Daiki Takikawa)

AKITA -- The northwest Japan prefecture of Akita has seen repeated cases of food poisoning from mushroom consumption in recent days, and with the picking season about to begin in full, the prefectural government's environmental health division is warning residents to not "pick or eat mushrooms that you can't decide are edible."

    At the Murakko produce hall in the prefectural city of Semboku on Oct. 4, toxic Entoloma rhodopolium -- known as wood pinkgill mushrooms -- were sold as edible Lyophyllum decastes mushrooms, and a family of three people aged between 10 and their 50s developed vomiting and diarrhea symptoms. The local Daisen public health center ordered the produce hall to cease business activities for five days commencing Oct. 7.

    Elsewhere in the jurisdiction of the Odate public health center on Oct. 4 a woman in her 60s reported symptoms including nausea and numbness in her limbs after consuming mushrooms picked by her family and cooked in traditional Akita dish kiritanpo. The woman was hospitalized, but has already been discharged. According to the environmental health division, there is a high chance that the patient mistakenly ate toxic tsukiyotake mushrooms, which resemble edible late oyster mushrooms.

    (Japanese original by Kaho Shimokobe, Akita Bureau)

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