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Thai students poisoned after mushroom meal

TT/The Local · 17 Sep 2010, 19:44

Published: 17 Sep 2010 08:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Sep 2010 19:44 GMT+02:00

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"They could have died," said Urban Säfwenberg, at the emergency healthcare services to broadcaster TV4 Nyherterna Uppsala.

The Thai students headed out to the woods to do what many Swedes do at this time of the year, namely go mushroom picking. Aware that there are a myriad of more or less edible varieties to chose from, the group took a book detailing Sweden's mushrooms with them, but it seems they still made a near fatal mistake.

When the students came home they prepared a dish with what they thought were edible mushrooms but are likely to have been death cap mushrooms, and proceeded to eat their meal. Soon after the group began complaining of stomach cramps and diarrhea.

"As it could be a case of poisoning we have taken all ten in for care. Early intervention can be decisive to prevent fatalities if it concerns a death cap or fly agaric mushroom," said Säfwenberg.

The hospitalised students have confirmed that they suspect that they did in fact eat some of the deadly mushrooms.

2010 has proven a bumper year for mushrooms in the Swedish forests and the number of cases of mushroom poisoning has risen dramatically in comparison with last year. The cases almost always concern a death cap or fly agaric mushroom.

Story continues below…

"Swedes do a bad job checking on these things," said mushroom expert Kill Persson.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:26 September 17, 2010 by villjobba
Zactly why I dont eat mushrooms! And I mean ANY mushroom!
10:18 September 17, 2010 by planethero
As a general rule, avoiding foods with "death" somewhere in the name is to recommended.
10:34 September 17, 2010 by JulieLou40
"Swedes have too bad a check," said mushroom expert Kill Persson.

10:55 September 17, 2010 by atritote
Now they have to pay for care.
11:55 September 17, 2010 by hilt_m
What did the last sentence mean?
12:00 September 17, 2010 by seychelle_18
"Swedes have too bad a check,"

Maybe they just google translate the sentence above :-D
12:04 September 17, 2010 by spo10
well, now all 10 learned their lessons the hard way. all of them could have died because of their recklessness.
12:06 September 17, 2010 by G Kin
Mushrooms are lovely, but you better be sure before you eat them,

I go out looking for mushrooms too, but you know what?

If I do not find the ones I know dead certain to be edible, I am not harvesting?

12:42 September 17, 2010 by Åskar
Thais shouldn't pick mushrooms in Sweden. A middle aged woman died a couple of years ago after eating one that looked just like one she knew from home.
15:20 September 17, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Who's duty is it to provide free or subsidized education to whom? If that't the case, I'll be over next week so I can pick up a graduate degree on the swedish taxpayer's ore.
15:25 September 17, 2010 by Stewart
Marko2010S - your poor grammar goes hand in hand with your lack of grasp of reality. As for your manners... maybe you should take similar 'lessons'.
15:37 September 17, 2010 by mlo0603
Editors! KILL PERSSON? Was someone trying to be funny?
15:40 September 17, 2010 by Marko2010S
@Stewart #12

I think you shouldn't be a human being for wishing bad things to happen to other people. It's pretty clear that you are sick and suffer from a mental disorder.
16:05 September 17, 2010 by crofab
@Åskar There is no reason Thais, over any other nationality, should refrain from picking mushrooms. If they just stick to the chanterelles they will be fine. Better yet, they could bring along an experienced mushroom picker with them who knows what he/she is doing.

@Marko2010S That is just pure ignorance. Not everyone in Thailand is poor. In fact, many of the Thai students who travel and study abroad are from the upper-middle class of Thailand and can manage fine. I am sure they didn't pick the mushrooms because they were starving to death, but rather because they enjoy eating mushrooms and wanted to take part of that very Swedish tradition of picking them.
20:51 September 17, 2010 by wxman
Note to self: don't eat fungus. Got it.
21:09 September 17, 2010 by Nuname
They're better now.


P.S If you don't know what i is don't eat it. However you should learn what it is. Mushroom picking is one of Sweden's greatest pleasures.
22:19 September 17, 2010 by Marko2010S
@crofab #14

There's no point of making a hasty decision about others' opinion.

My point was that Swedes show kindness, compassion and sympathy for other people (Specifically needy people such as: Students).

What is the point of arguing about worthless things such as taxpayers money. What if the taxpayer A-Person or B-Person died early, or desn't have kids.

Why do people care so much about the future which most likely they will not live in....? Why not to support others as much as we can?

On the other hand, I am not saying that we spend our money on students who fail in courses 20 times, nor spending money on others who arn't willing to integrate and develop the country.
08:15 September 18, 2010 by waffen
Either know what you are doing what you undertake to pick mushrooms or suffer the consequences.

That is as simple as that. Finding and picking safe mushrooms is a learned skill taught that has been taught by someone who knows what they are doing and is practiced wisely by those who are just learning. Simple common-sense.

Anyone who eats anything that they are not sure is one hundred percent safe to eat, has some vital ingredient missing in their brain.
12:32 September 18, 2010 by Icarusty

How does one know if something is 100% safe though? Is there a special mushroom checking machine?
17:33 September 18, 2010 by waffen

That "machine" is the still living person who has picked and eaten mushrooms for decades--and who can teach others how to identify edible mushrooms; and since I know people who have been picking and eating mushrooms for decades, one can safely assume that they know what they are doing.

Since I have picked and eaten mushrooms and I have never been sick, I can safely assume that having used great care in carefully selecting and identifing the mushrooms that I pick, that the mushrooms that I choose are safe to eat.

That procedure is exactly what everyone who picks mushrooms

should follow.

Simple common sense.
11:14 September 19, 2010 by LeonLB
Would've been nice if someone had taken the initiative to go with the Thais and make sure what they got was safe, or at least check it out when they got back... they are, after all, students in a foreign country, and Sweden is a long way from Thailand....
13:41 September 19, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly
This is a familiar story to a California boy. Each and every year there are accounts of Asians in California ingesting (and often dying from) wild mushrooms they have gathered. Apparently, a very popular and non-poisonous variety in parts of Asia looks nearly identical to a lethal variety in California. I recall a family of 11 all dying from this mushroom years ago.

I've stopped Swedish friends in California form making potentially fatal errors of mistaken mushroom identity. The stakes are probably higher there because of the hight number of extremely toxic varieties.
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