Total Illnesses: 50
Last Illness Onset: April 17, 2023
States with Cases: Montana
Per request from Gallatin City-County Health Department and the Montana (DPHHS), the FDA and CDC are assisting with an investigation of illnesses at a single restaurant in Montana. The restaurant temporarily closed following the illnesses and there does not appear to be any further risk to the public. Preparation and storage methods at the restaurant continue to be examined as part of the investigation into the cause of illnesses and this advisory will be updated as information becomes available.
As of May 15, 2023, the investigation has identified 50 ill people who ate at the restaurant between March 28 and April 17, 2023, of whom 44 people reported eating morel mushrooms. There have been three hospitalizations and two deaths associated with this incident. A sample of leftover mushrooms were collected from the restaurant and laboratory analysis determined that the sampled mushrooms were true morels.
Currently, no pathogen, toxin, pesticide, or heavy metal has been identified; however, state and local partners have collected consumer samples from the restaurant and testing and analysis are ongoing. Although epidemiological evidence indicates that morel mushrooms consumed at the restaurant are likely the cause of illnesses, mushroom poisonings can be difficult to diagnose as the exact chemical nature of some toxins found in wild-type mushrooms are currently unknown.
FDA does not have premarket approval of food products. Claims that mushrooms or other food products are “FDA-approved” are inaccurate and do not ensure that a product is safe. More information is available on the FDA website.