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Woman diner dies hours after eating ‘poisonous’ mushrooms at Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain

Woman diner dies hours after eating ‘poisonous’ mushrooms at Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain

  • María Jesús Fernández Calvo ordered meal containing rice and morchella fungi
  • But optician suffered bouts of vomiting and diarrhea and died the next morning
  • She had been served morchella mushrooms at Michelin-starred RiFF restaurant
  • The fungi needs to be cooked thoroughly and cannot be eaten raw due to a toxin
  • Restaurant has closed and a probe is underway to determine whether Calvo died from poisoning or by asphyxiation from particles of vomit in her lungs

A woman has died after eating a mushroom dish at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain, it has emerged.

María Jesús Fernández Calvo had ordered a meal containing rice and morchella fungi from RiFF in Valencia while out celebrating her husband’s birthday.

But on returning home from the eatery, known for its ‘innovative dishes’, she suffered vomiting and diarrhea and died the next morning.

Officials say 11 more diners, including the 46-year-old’s husband and son, ten, suffered similar symptoms, medical officials say. The restaurant has been closed amid a probe into the death.

Morchella mushrooms – also known as ‘true morels’ – need to be carefully cooked and cannot be eaten raw since they contain the toxin hydrazine.

A woman has died just hours after eating a dish containing morchella mushrooms (file picture) at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain, it has emerged

María Jesús Fernández Calvo had ordered a meal containing rice and morchella fungi from RiFF (pictured) in Valencia while out celebrating her husband's birthday

María Jesús Fernández Calvo had ordered a meal containing rice and morchella fungi from RiFF (pictured) in Valencia while out celebrating her husband’s birthday

They are usually dried out before being added to water and milk and cooked thoroughly.

An investigation is also underway to determine whether Calvo had actually been served ‘false morels’ in error – an even more poisonous mushroom.

The taster menu the family ordered typically costs 85 euros (£74) each and consists of seven courses including the likes of pig’s ear and seasonal mushrooms.

According to The Telegraph, health chiefs will have to wait for an autopsy before they can determine whether the optician had died from poisoning or from as asphyxiation from particles of vomit in her lungs. 

Chef Bernd Knöller has told of his 'deep sorrow' over the death and said he had decided to close the eatery, which earned its first Michelin star in 2009, while investigations take place

Chef Bernd Knöller has told of his ‘deep sorrow’ over the death and said he had decided to close the eatery, which earned its first Michelin star in 2009, while investigations take place

An investigation is also underway to determine whether Calvo had actually been served 'false morels' (pictured) in error - an even more poisonous mushroom

An investigation is also underway to determine whether Calvo had actually been served ‘false morels’ (pictured) in error – an even more poisonous mushroom

Chef Bernd Knöller has told of his ‘deep sorrow’ over the death and said he had decided to close the eatery, which earned its first Michelin star in 2009, while investigations take place.

The German, who kick-started his career in the UK more than 30 years ago and worked at London’s Kensington Hilton hotel as a teenager, said in a statement: ‘I have offered my complete cooperation to the Valencian health authority from the very start in order to clear up the facts, with the hope that we can establish the causes as soon as possible.’

The restaurant, which opened in 2001, passed an inspection when health officials arrived for an inspection on Monday, he added.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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