Morbidity outbreak suspected by undercooked Morchellas (True Morels)

There was a recent case in Montana,

In which during the span of three weeks, 51 people got sick resulting in 3 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. The final case report revealed that the culprit was uncooked or undercook (marinated) Morcehlla Sextelata served at a single Montana restaurant.

Morchellas contain mycotoxins that are harmful to Humans, and should always be cooked thoroughly before consuming.

It’s typically a good rule of thumb to cook all mushrooms as they have Chitanous Polysaccharides like Beta-Glucans which may result in indigestion. There are also risks of mycotoxins that are only destroyed by heating and not by acid cooking, marinating, or drying.

It’s not clear what specific toxin lead to the 51 people getting sick, it may be contamination. hydrazine toxins, or unrelated to mycotoxins itself and is not specific to morchellas.

For more on the matter check out the following links;

Wild mushrooms’ UPDATE: MONTANA MOREL DEATHS By: Joseph D. Cohen

Wild mushrooms’ MONTANA MORCHELLA MORBIDITY By: Joseph D. Cohen

US FDA investigation of Illnesses: Morel Mushrooms

To Recap,

Be safe out there. The Trial and error approach to consuming food whether mushrooms or not isn’t worth the risk if there is a reasonable risk of illness or injury or even death. So please, cook your mushrooms.

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