Amid reports that mushroom sales have dropped off sharply due to the case of the Victorian lunch that killed three diners, the chair of the Australian Mushroom Growers Association, Georgia Beattie, claims that it is ‘actually impossible’ for a Death Cap mushroom to end up in the button mushroom supermarket supply chain.
Ms Beattie, who is also CEO of Bulla Park, Australia’s largest organic mushroom farm, stated that commercial button mushroom farms are not set up to grow the death cap mushroom suspected of causing the deaths of three people in Victoria last month.
She said supermarkets have told mushroom farmers that sales have fallen by up to 10 per cent in the past few weeks, as consumers avoid the vegetable over fears of supply chain contamination.
Three people died from suspected Death Cap mushroom poisoning after a family lunch gone wrong in the town of Korumburra in late July. The host of the fatal lunch told police she used a mixture of button mushrooms from a major supermarket and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocer in the meal. However, a family friend told The Daily Mail that Ms Patterson was an experienced forager who was known to pick wild mushrooms around the Gippsland region.
Police investigations into the deaths are continuing, but no charges have been laid and Ms Patterson denies any wrongdoing.