Health Alert: Death Cap mushrooms spotted in Canberra

Released 12/03/2019

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has warned Canberrans not to eat or pick any wild mushrooms as death cap mushrooms have been spotted in Canberra.

Dr Coleman said that this was the first-time death cap mushrooms had been sighted this year, signalling the start of the season as we move into the cooler weather.

“Death cap mushrooms can be lethal if ingested,” Dr Coleman said.

“It is crucial for people to understand that all parts of the mushroom are poisonous and cooking them does not make them safe to eat.”

Death cap mushrooms are known to grow in the ACT. They often grow near established oak trees and can be found when there is wet weather.

Dr Coleman warned the community not to touch the mushroom with bare hands and to keep children and animals away from it.

“If you think you have eaten a death cap mushroom, seek urgent medical attention at a hospital emergency department and take any remaining mushroom to the hospital for identification,” she said.

“Symptoms of poisoning generally occur 6-24 hours or more after eating mushrooms, and include pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“The sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of survival.”

There have been four fatalities and a number of poisonings associated with Death Cap mushrooms in the ACT since 2002.

Anyone who finds a mushroom in a public area, can contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Dr Coleman urged Canberrans and anyone visiting Canberra not to pick or eat any wild mushrooms, and to purchase all mushrooms from a reputable supplier.

For more information about the Death Cap mushroom visit:

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Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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