Published On: Mon, Jan 9th, 2012

Two Die From New Year’s Meal Of Poisonous Mushrooms

A New Year’s meal in Canberra, turned deadly for two people on New Year’s Eve after they ingested death cap mushrooms. Chef Liu Jun, 38, of the Harmonie German Club prepared the meal and died from liver failure as a result of the poisonous mushrooms. A Chinese woman, Tsou Hsiang, 52, also died.

It is thought that Liu picked the mushrooms on his way home from work, having mistaken them for edible straw mushrooms. When eaten, death cap mushrooms can attack enzymes that are involved in producing DNA; they can also cause liver failure. The fatality rate for people that consume death cap mushrooms is between 25 and 50 percent.

The meal served was a private one; it was not part of a public menu.

Until his death, Liu sent a check to his wife and family, who live in China’s Hunan province, every week. The Australian reports that he was often found chatting with his family on Skype and a staff member called him “one of the nicest blokes you’ll ever meet.”