Melbourne : A 25-year-old Indian woman, who almost died after consuming mushrooms laced with death caps, is suing Australia’s largest supermarket chain Woolworths for selling the food item to her.
Rajvir Kaur, a Newcastle resident, suffered severe food poisoning after she ate a curry cooked by her mother in April. Kaur had bought button mushrooms which had become contaminated with a number of death cap mushrooms, a highly poisonous fungus that looks similar to a normal mushroom but releases deadly toxins into the body if consumed, according to Sydney Morning Herald. She barely survived after falling into a week-long coma following an emergency liver transplant, multiple organ failure, and follow up surgery on her bowel.
“I’m lucky to be alive,” Kaur, who was in hospital for four months, said. “The doctors said my body is strong – I survived a lot of hours without a liver.” Her mother, who cooked the meal, and her housemate also fell ill after eating the mushroom and potato curry. Doctors had to give Kaur a liver donated by a patient with a different blood type, meaning she must take 20 different medications every day to stop her body rejecting the organ. Now Kaur is suing Woolworths.
Woolworths, however, is denying the claim, and cites an ACT Health and ACT Police investigation into the incident last year. “As reported last year, ACT Health and ACT Police found there was no evidence that these mushrooms were sold at Woolworths,” a spokeswoman for the store said. “We have nothing else to add,” she said. But Kaur believes the mushrooms were purchased up to a fortnight before her mother used in the curry, meaning that it is unlikely that the same batch would have been present at the time of the investigation.