What Happens if You Eat Bad Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are a popular ingredient in many culinary dishes, thanks to their unique flavor and nutritional benefits. However, what happens if you eat bad mushrooms?

Not all mushrooms are safe to eat, some mushrooms can be poisonous or cause adverse reactions when ingested.

In this articleđź“‘, we will explore the risks of consuming bad mushrooms and what to do if you accidentally eat them.

What happens if you eat bad mushrooms

What are Bad Mushrooms?

Bad mushrooms or spoiled mushrooms refer to fungi that have deteriorated and become unfit for consumption.

These mushrooms may have undergone chemical or microbial changes due to improper storage, exposure to moisture, or being past their prime freshness.

Identifying Bad Mushrooms

It is essential to be able to identify bad mushrooms to avoid any potential risks. Here are some ways to determine if a mushroom is safe to eat:

Visual Clues: Pay attention to the appearance of the mushroom. Poisonous mushrooms often have distinct visual characteristics, such as bright colors, unusual shapes, or prominent spots.

Foul Odor: Spoiled mushrooms emit a pungent and unpleasant odor, unlike the earthy and fresh smell of good mushrooms.

Texture: Mushrooms that feel slimy, mushy, or overly dry might not be suitable for consumption.

Discoloration: Unusual discoloration, especially browning or darkening, may be a sign of spoilage.

Expiration Dates: Always check the expiration dates on packaged mushrooms and avoid consuming them if they are past their prime.

What Happens if You Eat Bad Mushrooms?

Mushrooms🍄, like any other perishable food item, can go bad over time. Consuming bad mushrooms can result in various adverse effects on your health.

Let’s explore what might happen if you eat mushrooms that have spoiled:

Food Poisoning: Eating bad mushrooms can cause food poisoning, leading to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. These symptoms can vary in severity and may appear within a few hours of consumption.

Gastrointestinal Distress: One of the most common consequences of eating toxic mushrooms is severe gastrointestinal distress. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Toxicity and Poisoning: Certain mushrooms contain toxins that can lead to poisoning. Toxic mushrooms can cause damage to organs and bodily systems.

Neurological Symptoms: Certain toxic mushrooms can lead to neurological symptoms, such as dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, and even seizures.

Organ Damage: In severe cases, the toxins present in bad mushrooms can lead to organ damage, particularly affecting the liver and kidneys.

Allergic Reactions: Eating spoiled mushrooms can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals, ranging from mild skin rashes to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Long-term Health Impacts: Repeated consumption of bad mushrooms can have long-term health effects, impacting the overall well-being of an individual.

Severe Illness and Death: The consumption of highly toxic mushrooms can result in severe illness or even death, making it crucial to exercise caution when consuming wild mushrooms.

Immediate Steps After Eating Bad Mushrooms

If you suspect that you or someone else has ingested toxic mushrooms, it is essential to take immediate action. Here’s what you should do:

Call Emergency Services: Contact emergency services immediately for professional medical assistance.

Induce Vomiting: If advised by medical professionals, induce vomiting to expel the toxins from the body.

Seek Medical Attention: Visit the nearest hospital or medical facility promptly to receive appropriate treatment.

Long-Term Effects of Mushroom Poisoning

The effects of mushroom poisoning can extend beyond the initial episode. Long-term consequences may include:

Liver and Kidney Damage: Certain toxic mushrooms can cause irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys.

Nervous System Issues: Toxins from bad mushrooms can affect the nervous system, leading to neurological issues.

Chronic Health Conditions: In some cases, mushroom poisoning can result in chronic health conditions that require ongoing medical attention.

Also Read: How to Tell if White Mushrooms Are Bad

Handling and Storing Mushrooms Properly

To minimize the risk of consuming bad mushrooms, it’s crucial to handle and store them correctly. Follow these guidelines to ensure the mushrooms you use are safe for consumption:

Purchase from Reliable Sources: Buy mushrooms from reputable suppliers or grocery stores with a history of providing fresh and safe produce.

Inspect Before Purchase: Always inspect the mushrooms before purchasing them. Avoid buying any that show signs of spoilage.

Refrigerate Promptly: Store mushrooms in the refrigerator as soon as you bring them home. Keep them in a paper bag or a breathable container to prevent moisture buildup.

Use Within Expiry Date: Consume mushrooms before their expiry date to ensure freshness and reduce the risk of spoilage.

Cook Thoroughly: Cooking mushrooms thoroughly can help neutralize some toxins, making them safer to consume.

Also Read: How Long Do Mushrooms Last in the Refrigerator


Knowing what happens if you eat bad mushrooms is essential for ensuring your well-being.

By understanding the risks associated with consuming spoiled mushrooms and learning how to identify toxic species, you can make informed decisions and safeguard your health.

Always prioritize safety when handling and consuming mushrooms to enjoy their delicious flavors without worry.

Also Read: How to Tell if Baby Bella Mushrooms Are Bad?


What are “bad” mushrooms, and how do they become unsafe to eat?

“Bad” mushrooms are those that have spoiled, decayed, or become contaminated with harmful bacteria. They can become unsafe to eat due to improper storage, age, or exposure to toxins.

What happens if you eat bad mushrooms?

Consuming bad mushrooms may lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and in severe cases, hallucinations, seizures, or organ failure.

How quickly do symptoms of mushroom poisoning appear?

Symptoms can manifest within a few hours to several days after consuming bad mushrooms, depending on the type of mushroom and the amount ingested.

Are all wild mushrooms dangerous to eat?

No, not all wild mushrooms are dangerous, but some can be toxic or deadly if ingested. It is crucial to identify edible mushrooms accurately before consumption.

Can cooking mushrooms eliminate their toxicity?

Cooking may reduce the toxicity of some mushrooms, but it won’t make all poisonous varieties safe to eat. Cooking does not guarantee the removal of toxins from all mushroom species.

What should I do if I suspect I’ve eaten bad mushrooms?

If you suspect mushroom poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. Contact a poison control center or go to the nearest emergency room for proper evaluation and treatment.

How is mushroom poisoning treated?

Treatment for mushroom poisoning varies based on the type of toxin ingested. In some cases, activated charcoal may be administered to absorb toxins, and supportive care might be necessary to manage symptoms and protect organs.

Can I rely on smartphone apps or online sources to identify edible mushrooms safely?

While some apps and online sources can be helpful, they are not foolproof. It’s best to learn from an experienced forager or attend a guided mushroom walk to ensure accurate identification.

Are there any mushrooms that are safe to eat even if they look slightly bad?

It is generally not recommended to eat mushrooms that appear spoiled or damaged. Even if a mushroom species is edible, those that are past their prime can still cause gastrointestinal upset.

How can I prevent mushroom poisoning?

To prevent mushroom poisoning, only consume mushrooms that you can confidently identify as safe. Avoid picking mushrooms in areas where chemical pollutants or toxins may be present. When in doubt, never eat a mushroom; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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