The safety of edible fungi purchased at Melbourne markets


Victorian Poisons Information Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3052. Fax: (03) 9349 1261; e-mail:


Objective: To determine if toxic mushroom species are sold at Melbourne fruit and vegetable markets.

Methods: We purchased a specimen of every mushroom on sale at six large Melbourne markets on four separate days evenly spread during the period April to June, 2005. These specimens were identified by a specialist mycologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Results: Ten edible mushroom species, but no toxic species, were identified.

Conclusions: Mushrooms purchased from Melbourne markets appear to be safe.

Implications: While this study provides no evidence that public health is at risk from mushrooms sold at Melbourne markets, it has important limitations. Ongoing periodic surveillance is warranted.