2 Calif. deaths from mushrooms despite warnings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The deaths of two residents of a Northern California assisted living facility and the hospitalization of four others come despite warnings from health officials not to eat mushrooms picked in the wild.

As far back as October 2009, the California Department of Public Health issued a statement warning that eating wild mushrooms can cause serious illness or death.

According to state data, there were more than 1,700 reported cases of mushroom ingestion in California in 2009 and 2010. They included 10 cases of serious poisoning and two deaths, including an 82-year-old Santa Barbara man who died after cooking wild mushrooms with his steak.

Most recently, two residents of the Gold Age Villa in Loomis died after eating soup with wild mushrooms that had been prepared by a caregiver.

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