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Mushroom Poisonings Spread Across Russia, Ukraine

August 7, 1992

MOSCOW (AP) _ A Russian official issued a warning Friday against eating wild mushrooms because of widespread poisonings in Russia and Ukraine that have led to 24 deaths.

Picking wild mushrooms is a favorite summer activity for many Russians and Ukrainians.

Mushroom experts, toxicologists and doctors were trying to determine the reason for the poisonings, and mushroom samples are being examined at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Food Institute.

Specialists say deadly toadstool toxins can crop up in safe mushrooms, such as chanterelles and boletus, the main ingredient in many popular traditional dishes.

″We call on everybody: Stop picking mushrooms for the time being,″ said Yuri Tzitovski of the State Committee for Sanitary and Epidemic Inspection.

But since the end of July, mushroom poisonings have been reported in the Voronezh region south of Moscow, in the Volga River city of Volgograd and in the Saratov, Lipetsk, Lugansk and Donetsk regions.

The ITAR-Tass news agency said there also have been poisonings in Ukraine.

At least 24 of the nearly 200 people hospitalized across Russia have died from mushroom poisoning.

Update hourly