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Issue Number: Council I 008


Resources and Criteria to Select Wild Mushroom Species

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

This issue describes two of the five important elements of a model wild harvested mushroom program, which will permit a variety of wild harvested mushrooms to be sold to and by retail and foodservice establishments. Mushroom species vary from state to state and region to region. The recommended solution provides a method for jurisdictions to create a species list for mushrooms approved for sale or service. This will also provide a basis for regulatory agencies to collaborate with colleges, universities and/or local mycological organizations to approve wild mushroom identifiers.

Public Health Significance

The trade of wild harvested mushrooms is an established and rapidly growing industry that impacts consumers through wholesale, retail and restaurant services. The inability of Regulatory Authorities to effectively regulate and approve individuals as competent to identify mushrooms fosters the back door trading of wild harvested mushrooms and poses a threat to the consumer population through the potential ingestion of mushrooms that have been misidentified.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to FDA requesting that Annex 3 Section 3-201.16 of the 2009 Food Code (as modified by the Supplement issued in 2011) be amended to include the information noted below regarding recommended resources and criteria to select wild mushroom species. (new language in underline format).

Recommended Committee Resources

A regulatory authority may choose to form a committee to determine which fresh, wild harvested mushroom species are appropriate for commercial harvest in their state. Representatives from the following groups may be considered for membership:

  • Regulatory agencies from departments that oversee restaurants, markets and farmers' market;
  • Local Poison Centers;
  • Local mycological organizations;
  • Restaurant Associations;
  • College or university personnel who are competent identifiers of wild mushrooms;
  • Commercial wild mushroom foragers;
  • Wild Mushroom Brokers;
  • Chefs who serve fresh wild harvested mushrooms

Criteria to Select Wild Mushroom Species

Individual regulatory authorities may use the following criteria to establish a list of wild mushroom species for harvest and sale to the public. Wild mushrooms on the approved list for an approved mushroom identifier may be sold to or by a food establishment. Wild Mushroom Species that are:

  • currently in commerce according to foragers, chefs and dealers in the jurisdiction;
  • easily identified with field characteristics as determined by the jurisdiction;
  • common, in a specific jurisdiction as determined by the committee;
  • generally considered a low allergic reaction risk as determined by the committee;
  • consideration may be given for wild mushrooms approved for sale in other states (to be imported from those states), if accompanied by appropriate records.

The Conference also recommends that the above language be incorporated into a single Wild Harvested Mushroom Guidance Document and posted on the CFP website so that state and local jurisdictions can use this information to develop and implement their own wild harvested mushroom program.

Submitter Information

Name Lisa Roy, Co-Chair
Organization Wild Harvested Mushroom Committee
Address Maine Health Inspection Program
286 Water Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Telephone 207-287-5691
Fax 207-287-3165
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