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Call for public to stop consuming porcini mushrooms suspected to contain mixture of species including inedible or poisonous mushrooms
     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (January 29) called on the public to stop consuming loose-pack porcini mushrooms sold at two booths at two exhibitions in Hong Kong as the mushrooms concerned were suspected to contain mixture of edible species as well as inedible/poisonous species.

     A CFS spokesman said, "The CFS is following up on two food poisoning cases suspected to have been caused by consuming porcini mushrooms, which were referred earlier by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health. Investigations showed that the patients concerned had separately purchased the porcini mushrooms concerned from the booths at two different exhibitions, which were booth number 3R15 at the Hong Kong Food Festival and 2B-1011 at the 52nd Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo."

     The CFS appealed to members of the public who had purchased porcini mushrooms from the above-mentioned booths at the exhibitions held from December last year to early January this year not to consume them. If symptoms develop after consuming the food, they should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

     Mushroom poisoning is generally acute and manifested by a variety of symptoms, depending on the species and amount consumed. The incubation period is usually short. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain are the commonest symptoms. Sometimes distinguishing features such as extreme thirst, profuse sweating, hallucination, coma and other neurological symptoms may occur.

     Furthermore, consumers are advised to heed the following points when buying and eating fresh mushrooms:

* Do not buy mushroom products which are doubted to have carried mixing of unknown species;
* Do not buy mushrooms which look unhygienic (with growing substrates left with the product) or show signs of spoilage (with coloured spots/abnormal smell/slime, etc);
* Wash and cook mushrooms thoroughly before consumption; and
* Seek medical treatment immediately if mushroom poisoning is suspected.
     The CFS will continue to follow up and take necessary action to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Monday, January 29, 2018
Issued at HKT 21:00
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