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Wild Mushrooms

Application for Wild Mushroom Identifier

Wild Mushroom Identifier Application Form

If mailing the application form and supporting documentation, please send the documents to  2  North  Meridian Street,  3-O, Indianapolis, IN  46204.

When applying to become a Wild Mushroom Identifier, please submit one piece of documentation to qualify to Identify Morel mushrooms and two pieces of documentation to qualify to identify any other wild mushrooms.

Rev. 8/11/2021
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
FOOD PROTECTION DIVISON
POLICY TO RECOGNIZE A MUSHROOM IDENTIFICATION EXPERT


BACKGROUND
Currently, there is great interest in the purchase and consumption of edible species of wild mushrooms by both individuals and within retail food establishments, as well as for temporary food events such as festivals and farmers markets. These species include morels and several other common wild edible mushrooms found seasonally within the State of Indiana. Per 410 IAC 7-24-164, “Sanitary Standards for the Operation of Retail Food Establishments”, “mushroom species picked in the wild shall be obtained from sources where each mushroom is individually inspected and found to be safe by a mushroom identification expert”.
Edible species of wild mushrooms are not considered to be potentially hazardous, but there is great concern that poisonous species may have similar appearances and characteristics that can easily be confused with edible species causing illness and potential death of consumers. Proper identification of wild mushroom species requires advanced studies in the field of mycology, in addition to considerable foraging and identification experience in the field.
Within Indiana, the responsibility for defining the requirements and qualifications of being a mushroom identification expert falls to the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) Food Protection Division (FPD). FPD strives to ensure there is an adequate number of identification experts available to meet the needs of the consuming public. As such, the following policy has been established to ensure wild edible mushrooms are properly identified prior to sale and consumption and that the health of consumers is protected.
POLICY STATEMENT- MOREL ONLY MUSHROOM IDENTIFIER
The following strategies may be pursued in order to be recognized as a morel mushroom identification expert by the IDOH FPD: Submit one piece of documentation from the list below.
1. Proof of attendance at a morel training course offered by the Hoosier Mushroom Society with letter of completion/recommendation and proof of passing an examination.
2. Proof that the applicant is someone who is a mycologist, or who has extensive study in the field of fungi identification, usually a PhD or masters level, may provide proof of education and experience to the IDOH FPD for review and consideration.
3. Proof that the applicant is an individual who has received a certification from a national mushroom organization, such as the North American Mycological Society.
4. Proof of attendance and successful completion of an equivalent wild mushroom identification course provided by another state regulatory program or accrediting body.
POLICY STATEMENT- OTHER WILD EDIBLE MUSHROOM IDENTIFIER
The following strategies may be pursued in order to be recognized as a wild mushroom identification expert by the IDOH FPD: Submit two pieces of documentation from the list below.
1. A letter for review and consideration, from another person experienced in wild mushroom identification or with education credentials, that describes the applicants long term practical or work experience; detailing knowledge and familiarity with wild mushrooms.
2. A written recommendation from someone who is a mycologist, or who has extensive study in the field of fungi identification, usually a PhD or masters level, or the applicant may provide similar proof of education and experience to the IDOH FPD for review and consideration.
3. A written recommendation from an individual who has received a certification from a national mushroom organization, such as the North American Mycological Society.
4. Proof of attendance at a mushroom training course offered by the Hoosier Mushroom Society with letter of completion and proof of passing an examination.
5. Proof of attendance and successful completion of an equivalent wild mushroom identification course provided by another state regulatory program or accrediting body.
Persons who provide adequate proof of qualification as a mushroom identification expert must register with IDOH FPD and be recognized by written correspondence listing his or her Indiana identification number. Individuals who desire to offer identification services to the public may be listed on the IDOH FPD website with selected contact information.

Mushroom Identification Experts

List of Available Mushroom Identifiers

Mushroom Identification Expert Approval Letters

Regulations on Wild Mushroom Sales

410 IAC 7-24-164 (a) Wild Mushrooms

Sec. 164. (a) Except as specified in subsection (b), mushroom species picked in the wild shall be
obtained from sources where each mushroom is individually inspected and found to be safe by a
mushroom identification expert.
(b) This section does not apply to the following:
(1) Cultivated wild mushroom species that are grown, harvested, and processed in an operation
that is regulated by the food regulatory agency that has jurisdiction over the operation.
(2) Wild mushroom species if they are in a packaged form and are the product of a food processing
plant that is regulated by the food regulatory agency that has jurisdiction over the plant.
(c) For purposes of this section, a violation of subsection (a) or (b) is a critical item. (Indiana State 
Department of Health; 410 IAC 7-24-164; filed Oct 13, 2004, 12:30 p.m.:  28 IR 851; readopted filed Jul 15,
2010, 12:12 p.m.:  20100728-IR-410100261RFA; readopted filed Nov 10,2016, 8:45 a.m.:  20161207-IR-
410160371RFA)

Tips for the Wild Mushroom Buyer

  • Buy wild-picked mushrooms from an individual who can demonstrate their standing as an approved
    mushroom identification expert or if purchased from a vendor ask for proof that the mushrooms have been inspected and found to be safe by an approved mushroom identification expert.
    Any questions call 317-234-8569.

Tips for the Wild Mushroom Consumer

  • Mushroom poisoning may result in illness or death.  Even safe mushrooms can cause allergies reactions in some people.
  • It is always best to eat a moderate amount of wild mushrooms and to avoid eating them raw because they are hard to digest.  Eat only firm, fresh mushrooms.

Notify your doctor immediately if you suspect mushroom poisoning of any kind.
Poison Help: 1-800-222-1222

References

Bad Bug Book