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Food Safety Focus (169th Issue, August 2020) – Food Incident Highlight

Boletes and Food Safety

In July, there was a food poisoning case suspected to be caused by the consumption of prepackaged boletes. Investigation revealed that the bolete samples collected from the retail outlet were mixed with poisonous mushrooms. The retailer was asked to stop sale and to recall the affected products.

There are many species of boletes. Some are edible but some are poisonous. Mixing edible boletes with other poisonous mushrooms is possible during harvesting from the wild. Food poisonings due to consumption of poisonous mushrooms were reported from time to time. Symptoms like gastrointestinal discomfort could appear shortly after ingestion. In severe cases, it may result in coma and liver damage.

The public should not consume mushroom products which are doubted to be mixed with unknown species, and should seek medical attention immediately if mushroom poisoning is suspected. The trade should source boletes from reliable suppliers and keep proper inventory records.