copied from wikipedia-
A variety of safety rules for mushroom hunting exist.
Listed here are some of the most common in order of importance,
from greatest to least:
Never consume a mushroom for which a positive identification to species has not been made
(see mushroom poisoning).
Never try to convince anyone else to eat a mushroom that you have identified.
Simplistic rules-of thumb
such as: "it's edible if it discolors when cut", or "if it doesn't stain a silver spoon"
are often dangerously inaccurate.
Species identification is a must.
An identification should be made with no less than
size, color, gill connectivity, environment, a cross section, bruising color, odour, and a spore print.
In no case should you eat a mushroom
when something about the mushroom contradicts
available information about what one suspects the mushroom is.
Always attempt to use multiple sources for identification.
Be able to tell what distinguishes this mushroom from its closest sister species
Learn what the death cap, destroying angel, Galerina species, small Lepiota species
and the deadly webcap and some of its relatives look like
in all stages of their development;
those kinds cause the majority of deadly poisonings.
Other species can cause permanent kidney failure or make you severely ill but do not often kill.
Until you can be considered an expert,
stay away from all difficult to identify groups,
such as amanita, cortinarius, and "little brown mushrooms".
Always identify each specimen during preparation.
Deaths due to an inexperienced collector
gathering a button-stage amanita along with edible mushrooms have occurred,
or when a group of collectors unwisely combines their mushrooms.
Novices should start with more easily identifiable and less dangerous groups,
such as boletes (being aware of the Devil's bolete)
and bracket fungi,
completely avoiding standard agarics.
Be careful to use information relevant to your area.
Some mushrooms that are safe in Europe, for example,
have deadly lookalikes in North America.
Only consume a small amount of the mushroom the first time.
Like every other food that you taste for the first time,
certain types of popular edible mushrooms,
such as sulphur shelf, cause an allergic reaction in about half of the people who eat them.
Some species, such as Paxillus involutus,
can be eaten several times without ill effect
and then cause severe distress when consumed again.
Your first taste should be just a taste (to see if you actually care for it),
and your second should be about a teaspoon full.
Space tastings far apart - poisoning from the highly deadly destroying angel doesn't even produce symptoms until 6 to 24 hours after consumption and can take over a week to kill its victim.
You should never "taste" an unidentified mushroom;
mushrooms such as the deadly webcap, commonly found throughout Europe,
are so poisonous that even putting a small piece in the mouth and spitting it out
can cause a severe poisoning.
Do not mix known edibles with other species while gathering.
Keep them in separate containers.
A single poisonous mushroom can poison a whole basket; if this occurs, throw them all away.
Do not allow young children to gather mushrooms for consumption.
If they hunt with you, keep any mushrooms they find separate and identify them yourself.
As always, if in doubt, throw it out.
Be aware of pollution;
mushrooms heavily concentrate pollutants
like heavy metals or radioactive isotopes .
More specifically, radioactive fallout spreads unevenly
and can be very concentrated in certain areas,
this even at great distances from the source of the pollution (see Chernobyl disaster effects).
If you do eat your mushrooms,
remember to keep a piece or even better a mushroom for each specimen you have picked.
If you have misidentified the fungus and are poisoned by it,
this can help expert mycologists make a proper identification and diagnosis.
Only consume specimens that are freshly picked (or properly preserved) and not too old.
Like all food, even a perfectly edible mushroom will eventually rot
and cause stomach upsets if ingested.
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