A care facility for seniors located in Loomis, California, where the people ate the toxic mushrooms, has reported the third death. The person died on Saturday, but the name and other details were not released.
The Gold Age Villa reported the third death on Monday as state officials continued with their investigations into the incident. The mushroom soup has caused the deaths of Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, and Barbara Lopes, 86, who died Friday morning and night respectively. The soup also has made three others sick. The facility’s caretaker had unknowingly picked some toxic mushrooms in the facility’s backyard and used them to prepare soup. The caretaker was also among the sick persons. The six-bed facility saw that all the people who ate the soup became ill. There was only one person who did not consume the soup that night, and they did not become ill. This helped investigators pinpoint the cause of the illness quickly.
Now is the season for the species of wild mushrooms known as amanita and what people call “death angel” and “death cap” varieties, which can be quite poisonous. The poison contained in the mushrooms is known as amatoxin and causes symptoms such as diarrhea and eventually kidney failure. The wild chanterelle mushrooms are also in season and are a highly sought after variety in Northern California, though not poisonous.
Between 2009 and 2010, the state reported 1,700 mushroom related sicknesses, including two deaths. Food regulations by the state prevent food preparation done in care facilities to use unpasteurized milk and home-canned foods, but use of foraged ingredients is not prohibited.