False morels must be accompanied by warning and handling instructions
The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira recommends that fresh false morels should only be sold to consumers by sales staff, rather than off the shelf, in order to ensure safety.
False morels are an exceptional food whose sale is permitted although they contain a poison called gyromitrin. A large dose of gyromitrin causes acute poisoning. Gyromitrin and its metabolites are also carcinogenic compounds. Proper handling is required to avoid poisoning, and consumers in Finland are reminded of this each year.
Foreigners living in Finland may not be aware that false morels are poisonous or may not know how they should be handled.
Brochures regarding the use of false morels are available from municipal health inspectors as well as the the Finnish Food Safety Authority The brochures are available in Finnish, Swedish, English, German, French and Russian.
If instructions for handling false morels are not displayed at sales points, control officials can forbid the sale of lots which do not comply with regulations. Products can be put back on sale after the necessary warnings have been added. Consumers can also notify municipal food control officials if labels are inadequate.
Incorrect instructions for handling false morels have been supplied in mushroom guides, including newer ones.
Instructions for handling false morels
Boiling: False morels should be boiled twice in plenty of water (1 part mushrooms and 3 parts water) for at least five minutes and should be rinsed thoroughly in plenty of water after each boiling.
Drying: False morels can also be preserved by drying them until they are crisp. Dried false morels must be soaked for at least two hours before use (100 grams of mushrooms in 2 litres of water). After soaking they should be boiled and rinsed twice like fresh false morels.
Remember: Ensure proper ventilation whenever false morels are boiled or dried. Do not reuse the water in which false morels have been soaked or boiled.
- Provincial food inspectors and municipal food control officials
- Senior Officer, Food Control Anja Hallikainen, Evira, tel. +358 (0)20 772 4287, +358 (0)50 3868 433.