Common morel mushrooms. Photo by Missouri Department of Conservation.
A morel mushroom certification workshop will be held next week at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, Lawrence, to help mushroom hunters and sellers assure that wild harvested mushrooms are actually morels and safe to consume.
Current Kansas Department of Agriculture food safety regulations require mushrooms picked in the wild and offered for sale must be individually inspected for safety by an approved mushroom identification expert. Those successfully completing this workshop will be recognized as mushroom identification experts for the purposes of meeting this regulation. These regulations and this certification do not apply to cultivated mushrooms, such as shiitakes, but only to mushrooms harvested in the wild. Cultivated mushrooms do not require an identification course.
The course will be taught by mushroom identification expert Sherry Kay, of the Kaw Valley Mycological Society; there is no charge for the course.