Despite practicing law in the food safety space for over 30 years, I am always learning something new and that usually is bad.

With at least 30 sickened with 2 dead linked to Dave’s Sushi in Bozeman, Montana that appear to be linked to the consumption of morel mushrooms that Dave’s ownership has cited as being “FDA-inspected morel mushrooms [that] were purchased in two separate batches from a California distributor,…” The outbreak investigation is still underway, but it appears that there may be a lot more to learn.

Eating raw or undercooked morel mushrooms can be risky because they contain a small amount of a naturally occurring toxin called hydrazine, which can cause gastrointestinal distress if ingested in sufficient quantities. The toxin is destroyed by cooking, so it’s important to always cook morels thoroughly before eating.

Hydrazine is a toxic chemical that can cause a variety of side effects if ingested in sufficient quantities. Some of the most common side effects of hydrazine toxicity include:

1.     Gastrointestinal distress: Hydrazine can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as abdominal pain and cramping.
2.     Central nervous system effects: Hydrazine can affect the brain and nervous system, causing symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion, and seizures.
3.     Liver and kidney damage: Hydrazine can cause damage to the liver and kidneys, leading to jaundice, dark urine, and decreased urine output.
4.     Respiratory effects: Hydrazine can cause respiratory distress, including coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
5.     Cardiovascular effects: Hydrazine can affect the heart and circulatory system, causing chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.

It’s important to note that hydrazine toxicity is relatively rare and typically only occurs if large quantities of hydrazine are ingested. Most people who consume undercooked or raw morels will not experience any significant side effects. However, if you do experience any symptoms after consuming morels, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.

Thanks to Chatgpt