Food Safety Focus (179th Issue, June 2021) – Food Incident Highlight
Proper Handling of Fresh Mushrooms
Fresh mushrooms, such as winter mushrooms (shiitake), gold needle mushrooms (enokitake), oyster mushrooms and button mushrooms, are popular food ingredients. As fresh mushrooms are prone to deterioration especially in hot weather, careful handling and storage are required to keep them in good condition.
When purchasing fresh mushrooms, look for the ones that are firm to touch, uniform in colour and smooth in appearance. The surface should be dry but not shrunken or wrinkled. Store them in the refrigerator soon after purchase. Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and cut them only right before cooking to minimise mould growth and other deterioration during storage.
Do not buy mushrooms that are unhygienic, show signs of spoilage (e.g. coloured spots, abnormal smell and slime). If the mushrooms are mixed with unknown species, discard the whole pack. Do not pick and consume wild mushrooms, as expert knowledge is required to distinguish edible species from toxic ones.