Health authorities are warning Victorians not to gather and eat wild mushrooms after heavy rains around the state spurred their growth.

The state’s deputy chief health officer Dr Angie Bone issued the warning on Wednesday, saying that the mushrooms are popping up in all parts of the state, including Melbourne.

“The recent conditions have been ideal for poisonous mushrooms and recent rains have seen them start to sprout in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria,” Dr Bone said.

There were a record 426 calls to the state’s poisons information centre last year reporting mushroom poisoning, more than double the number over the previous year.

The rise in the number of poison reports over 2020 has been attributed to Melbourne’s long-running lockdowns coupled with ideal conditions for growing mushrooms.

While the health department warns to avoid foraging and eating wild mushrooms all together, they say that people should be particularly wary of the deadly death cap and yellow-staining mushrooms.

The not-so-appealing-sounding death cap mushroom can be identified by its light olive green to green-yellow colour with white gills and are usually found near deciduous trees. Meanwhile, the yellow-staining mushroom turns yellow when its stem is cut or bruised.

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