Lifestyle & Belief

Third elderly person dies from mushroom poisoning in Loomis, California senior care facility


A highly poisonous mushroom called a "death cap" (Amanita phalloides) grows in a forest near Schlachtensee Lake on August 15, 2011 in Berlin, Germany.


Sean Gallup

A third person has died from mushroom poisoning at a Loomis, California senior care facility, according to reports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, four others — including the caregiver who picked the toxic mushrooms near the Golden Age Villa — were sickened.

The caregiver made and served mushroom soup earlier this month apparently without knowing they were poisonous.

The Sacramento Bee cited the state Department of Social Services as confirming the death. KCRA named the victim as Frank Warren Blodgett, 90.

Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, died and three others were sickened when they ingested the soup made from wild mushrooms, which are in season in North America.

KCRA wrote that the poisonous North American amanitas — known as the "death cap" for sprinkling of brown over a white cap — resembles edible mushrooms popular in Asia. Amanitas sicken hundreds each year in California.

The LA Times cited health officials as saying that toxins in mushrooms cause liver damage, especially in older people, often leading to coma and even death.

It cited the case of Angelo Crippa, 82, who died in 2009 in Santa Barbara after sauteing the wrong kind of mushrooms — picked near Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara — to eat with a steak. He died several days later.

Placer County Sheriff's Office officials have called the other two deaths an accident. No criminal case is pending.