Woman dies after eating mushrooms at exclusive restaurant


A woman has died after eating mushrooms at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

María Jesús Fernández Calvo, 46, ordered a rice and morchella fungi dish at Valencia’s RiFF restaurant in Spain on Saturday but died on Sunday morning following vomiting and diarrhoea, The Telegraph reports. 

The dish contained morchella mushrooms which are believed to contain the toxin hydrazine. 

It means they can’t be eaten raw. They need to be hydrated before being cooked.

A woman has died after eating a dish containing morchella mushrooms at RiFF restaurant in Spain. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

The woman had been celebrating her husband’s birthday with their 10-year-old son.

Twenty-three others also fell ill including Ms Fernandez Calvo’s husband and son, newspaper El Pais reported.

However, their symptoms were said to be mild.

An autopsy will reveal whether she died from poisoning or asphyxiation.

Samples of the ingredients have also been sent to the National Toxicology Institute, regional health chief Ana Barcelo said.

RiFF restaurant in Valencia. It’s Michelin-starred and the chef has decided to close it during the investigation. Source: Google Maps (file pic)

Public health officials checked the restaurant on Monday but couldn’t find anything that could have contributed to food poisoning.

They are also investigating if the mushrooms the mum was served were cooked properly.

Chef Bernd Knoller said in a statement he’s decided to close the restaurant until the investigation finishes.

“Regardless of the reason that may have caused this situation, I want to convey my deep regret for what happened, hoping that soon all these facts can be clarified,” he said.

The chef also announced on Twitter he’s cancelled two dinners as part of the Valencia Culinary Festival.

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