Third person dies from mushroom poisoning at retirement home


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A third elderly resident of a Placer County nursing home has died after eating poisonous mushrooms picked and served by a caregiver earlier this month.

Four others, apparently including the caregiver, were sickened by the mushrooms, gathered near the Golden Age Villa in Loomis and used to make mushroom soup Nov. 9.


The name of the latest victim was not immediately released, the Sacramento Bee reported. Earlier, Placer County sheriff’s officials called the deaths of Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, an accident.

Wild mushrooms are in season now, including poisonous North American amanitas that resemble edible mushrooms that are popular in Asia. White with a sprinkling of brown over the cap, known as the ‘death cap,’ the mushrooms sicken hundreds each year in California.

Health officials say toxins in the poisonous mushrooms cause liver damage and can lead to comas and, occasionally, death, especially with older people.

That’s what happened to 82-year-old Angelo Crippa, who died in 2009 in Santa Barbara after he mistakenly picked the wrong mushrooms near Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara. After sauteing them to eat with a steak, he died several days later.


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