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Grade Eh Meat
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Registered: 07/17/00
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A word about Contams
    #1184892 - 01/02/03 09:31 AM (20 years, 10 months ago)

After reviewing alot of posts i'm goign to make this sticky and ask others to add to it.
But lets try and make a list of tips and general advice that new growers tend to ask alot. This way if they have a question they can browse here first and and see if their question is answered.

The best part is because its sticky they don't have to search for it because it'll always be at the top. This is in no way meant to stop people from posting but just act like a quick reference.

Also Serious replys only please

The number one general rule of Contams:
If In Doubt Throw It Out - If your not sure if they are safe to eat why risk your health or your other cakes

2. If you think you spot a contam on a Cake remove it from the rest of your healthy cakes. Then decide if you want to try and save it or chuck it

3. Post pictures whenever possible - A picture says a thousand words but a thousand words may not help us picture your problem


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Grade Eh Meat
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: WildCardsRevenge]
    #1210834 - 01/11/03 10:20 PM (20 years, 10 months ago)

ok I'll add a few things here

If your in doubt throw them out, you can always grow more its really not that hard. (I know it refers back to my first "tip" but its the truth)

If you think you have green mold try taking a small cutting/scraping and see if its green underneath.....if it is THROW IT OUT, don't risk your other cakes with the green meanies!
Green mold often works from the inside out so if your seeing green mold chances are its been growing inside your cake for a while now

Always use Commen sense, if you see something nasty that you wouldn't eat on a plate of food then why would you risk eating it on a shroom? You can always grow more........again its not that hard.


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Dopeless Hopefiend
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: WildCardsRevenge] * 1
    #1351201 - 03/04/03 10:34 PM (20 years, 8 months ago)

Don't sniff the mold it could get you very sick

This place is gayer than when the balls touch

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Re: A word about Contams [Re: WildCardsRevenge]
    #1459761 - 04/15/03 08:35 AM (20 years, 7 months ago)

I have to agree 100% with WCR on this.  Now, much as I hate any sort of scare-tactics, I'd like to present some simple examples which will hopefully prove the point without causing any budding mycologists to abandon their hobby.

# start %rant_hash

Example 1:

Let us say you live in the South-Western portion of the US.  Presuming you do NOT have a facility which meets Biosafety Level 2 or 3, let us suppose that a single spore of the very common soil fungus which causes coccidioidomycosis (aka Valley Fever) has managed to make it into one of your neatly prepared PF jars.  Let as suppose that it manages to culture -- even a *little* bit -- unbeknownst to you, in direct competition with your mycelia of choice.  Noticing something is amiss in that jar, you open it to investigate.

Most people who contract coccidioidomycosis in nature usually receive a VERY small amount of spores.  Some never have anything beyond mild cold/flu-like symptoms (some never even have *any* symptoms).  Some react very poorly to this invader, and it goes systemic, invading their muscles, their nervous system, and other organs (these are in the minority percentage).  Coccidioides immitis (the fungus causing Valley Fever) is incredibly resistant to heat, cold, and dry, adverse conditions (we're talking about a desert fungus, here, folks...) and naturally grows in the soil *all over* the South-Western part of the US.

Taking even a WHIFF of a jar wherein one had inadvertently cultured Coccidioides immitis would be a guarantee of getting an UNHOLY dose of spores.  Primary route of infection for Valley Fever is, naturally, inhalation; inhaling a whiff of a PURE CULTURE of it would most likely assure you of getting it very VERY badly - perhaps badly enough for it to become systemic, requiring thousands of dollars in Rx bills, and a year or more of treatment.

One jar + substrate + an hour of sterilization IS NOT EQUAL TO thousands of $$$ and extensive medical care.  It JUST isn't worth it.

Example 2:

Penicillium, which is ubiquitous, and which by nature has incredibly tiny spores -- spores you need a 1000x microscope to see, and which an N-95 filter isn't generally adequate to keep out, and which even -- for many species -- manage to make it past HEPA filtration devices, is numbered in the thousands.  Species which produce serious toxins, and species which produce mere allergens (or things like penicillin), are virtually indistinguishable on a microscopic level, and are protean in color, depending on substrate.

It takes *expert* mycologists a lot of time and resources to distinguish one from the other, from my understanding, and while Penicillium is the most difficult to divide into subspecies categories, it is slightly less difficult to determine the difference between Trich and Aspergillus spp., all three of which are commonly mistaken for each other, with the latter also being protean in respects to different coloration on different substrates.  Unfortunately for the amateur and professional mycologist alike, the substrates we favor generally favor greenish to greenish-blue coloration among them all, making them all that much harder to tell apart.

No one should need anything said regarding the really evil mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus spp.; lest it need be mentioned, some of the thousands of Penicillium spp. do produce some whopping toxins of their own (doubt it?  Look it up!).

That said: 

See some green in there?  THROW IT OUT.  Unless you really *do* have access to at LEAST a BL2 facility which can properly preserve & contain samples, even OPENING that jar may unleash enough incredibly tiny spores that WILL make it through your filtration systems and into your prime edibles farm, thus setting up a veritable chain reaction of loss.  At worst, you could inhale a large enough dose of mycotoxin-laden spores to PEEL THE PAINT OFF YOUR SOUL, again resulting in hefty Rx bills & long treatment...

#  end %rant_hash

Ok, I confess that both of those scenarios *may* sound far-fetched.  Longshots?  Certainly.  Possible?  DEFINITELY.  Do *NOT* risk your health over something so minute.  Please.

And for those who would accuse me of hypocrisy (noting that I've posted microscopy pics in this forum, for example, which certainly presumes I opened up a contaminated jar), well, all I can say is that *I* am a professional idiot.  I also keep a small menagerie of venomous (and toxic...And yes, I know the difference) creatures, and have, as an occasional result, got nailed, to my own occasional detriment.  Also, in regards to what facilities I may -- or may not :wink: -- have access to regarding studying things like this, well, I'm not about to incriminate myself, obviously.  Suffice to say what facilities you may or may not have access to are probably quite different from those which I may have.  Kapeesh?

Please accept my apologies for the long-winded rant.  If at least ONE intelligent person here is averted from a course of minor or major disaster, it is worth it.


"There are no angels unless they are Angels of Death...And I would never again doubt my place among them or lose my resolve to serve in their wild ranks."         
                                                            -T. Ligotti

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Leaving YourWasteland

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 3,594
Loc: Passing Cloud
Re: A word about Contams [Re: YSJ]
    #1460633 - 04/15/03 02:16 PM (20 years, 7 months ago)

What are the concerns of mushrooms that dont have visible blemish type contaminants. like the growth of mushrooms. is there any contaminants that you can not detect through color or smell? like strange growth, or abnormalities. any kinds of THOSE contaminants that can hurt anyone? or are all the harmful ones the molds and bacteria that you can Obviously see?

btw i liked your post. :smile: . mucho informationo.


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Go west...

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 13
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Last seen: 18 years, 3 months
Re: A word about Contams [Re: Zero7a1]
    #1620470 - 06/09/03 11:02 AM (20 years, 5 months ago)

And what about green mold on the casing substrate, but not on the mushrooms? My cakes were fine, and in one case, I had some green mold that was right next to the mushroom cluster I just harvested, but nothing was growing on the mushrooms. Should I toss the harvest? What about the entire case -toss it?
-I hope not, cause it's the best crop yet!

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Spiritual beinghaving a Humanexperience
Registered: 06/17/03
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Loc: This Planet Earth
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: Twelve_Nomads]
    #1639534 - 06/17/03 11:54 AM (20 years, 5 months ago)

How come we don't have to worry about contaminated mushrooms in the wild, but I see everywhere everyone says that if you have a contaminated cake/casing to not eat any shrooms off it? If they are identified as the correct shrooms you are growing, why not eat em? I don't mean to sound rude, I just don't understand.

There are things known, and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors - Morrison

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Registered: 05/28/03
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: neutralizer]
    #1639988 - 06/17/03 03:18 PM (20 years, 5 months ago)

Hi all,
This is my first post so I hope itdoesn't violate any rules or etiquette. I have been working to cultivate for a few months and have harvested several times. I have pitched all cakes with obvious contamination but am uncertain about how to distinguish between contamination and bruising of the mycelium that seems to happen when I dunk a cake. Is it possible that dunking can cause contamination?
I ate 5 average sized shrooms 1 month ago and had a good buzz, but not the reaction I was hoping for. Last night I ate 10 and got there. But after about 3 hours, I started getting sick to my stomach. Within an hour I was doubled up on the floor. I spent most of the night lying awake in bed or on the john. Was still hallucinating mildly 8 hours after dosing but now I felt like shit. Was better this a.m. but still not 100%.
There seem to be so many places for contamination to occur in the process that I'm not sure where it went wrong. I'm using the method outlined in the MMGG here on the Shroomery. Most of my cakes are colonizing without obvious contamination so I believe they are getting contaminated in the growing chamber - styrofoam cooler with ultrasonic humidifier. But maybe they are getting contaminated in the jars and I just am not recognizing it. I don't know.
Anyway, am planning to pitch all shrooms I have grown to date and start all over. The thing is, they all looked healthy while growing so I didn't suspect a problem. Once a cake is fully colonized isn't it harder for it to become contaminated? i.e. doesn't most contamination occurr before the colonized cake is birthed? Don't want to stop cultivating, but after last night am very concerned. It was not a good time.
Sorry for the length of this post but am looking for help from all you experienced growers out there. Any responses would be appreciated.

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Registered: 08/17/03
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Loc: uk
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: skyrider]
    #1845454 - 08/24/03 01:16 PM (20 years, 3 months ago)

For the above post: i would of thought that contamination would of occured before birthing the cake, are you sure that all the white fuzzy stuff is mycelium. After your affects of the mushrooms i would scrap the method of growing you are using or make sure everything is sterilised and clean because the effects of being on the toilet and stuff shouldn't happen and you are poisoning yourself eating the mushrooms. Look inside the cakes aswell and check airflows in the room you are sterilising in. How new or old is the styrofaom cooler and is the water source that the ultra sonic humidifier uses sealed and replaced every so often stagnant water must be bad.

My friend grew some mushrooms in a grow kit but unfortunately contamination set in and he had 3 different types of mold. Purple,White and green where the colours. We did the stupid thing of eating the mushrooms afterwards as my friend did not have the heart to throw them away. Luckily we had no adverse affects apart from wretching every time we ate them which is considered normal however other mushrooms did not make us wretch in the past experiances. If contaminant spores are dangerous then if the spores are avoided then are the mushrooms grown edible as in the magic mushroom growers guide it states contaminants can be transported through the mycelium network is this true?

who knows what it is to float in space, real space, the space of thought....

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Registered: 07/25/03
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: iopener]
    #1887203 - 09/05/03 11:37 PM (20 years, 2 months ago)

While looking around for an strong ionizer at hydroasis.com I saw one of those ozone generators. Would any1 suggest one to reduce airborn contaminants? It says "Ozone kills all allergens and mold spores. VERY EFFECTIVE. No cleaning necessary." They're not very cheap though. "The Medium model handles 3,000 cubic feet" for $160.00.

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Grade Eh Meat
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: spacedragon]
    #1998650 - 10/10/03 08:43 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

In response to why eating wild mushrooms if correctly identified is no worry...
IN the wild the mushrooms would have to fight against and have natural defenses to just about every type of contam, or at least all the major ones. Its the way nature works in order to survive something has to be able to defend it self.

Now when growing in a kit there is only the spore growing, nothing else. So the spore doesn't develop the same defences a wild one would have, so if a contam is introduced to a mushroom in a kit, the mushroom has no chance of defending it self. The contam is also giving perfect growing condiitions in a petri dish, where as in most everything would be able to kill off the contam before it got to be problematic.

I hope that clears things up a little, i didn't go into a great amount of detail but thats the jest of it


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Re: A word about Contams [Re: WildCardsRevenge]
    #1999413 - 10/11/03 02:41 AM (20 years, 1 month ago)

Word.  :smile:

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soul searcher
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: YSJ]
    #2020843 - 10/18/03 03:33 PM (20 years, 1 month ago)

coccidioidomycosis-I do believe I had it. I could not stop coughing for 5 weeks. Fortunately, it didn't seem to affect my joints or organs. The good part is, once you've had it, you can't get it again. Your body creats the necessary antibodies to fight it.

I caught Lyme Disease when I was living back East. WTF? Well, spending lots of time outdoors puts you more at risk to those diseases.

Trust this guy on the Valley Fever. You do NOT want it! It's also prevelant in parts of Mexico and S. America.

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.

Aldous Huxley

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Re: A word about Contams [Re: catalyst777]
    #2122313 - 11/19/03 09:50 AM (20 years, 18 days ago)

I've been growing successfully for about a year now and I have encountered a green mold problem recently. I use a "the rich man's terrarium" and I am real careful about sanitary conditions. Careful enough that I get at least 2 flushes before all hell breaks loose. I keep them between 79-82 degrees and the humidity is high (about 95%). What am i missing? Is there a cycle to their growing. For instance, should there be a time when the humidity is higher or lower and the same for the temperature, is there a time when it should be colder or hotter. I really don't want to go back to the P.F. Tek, I like this casing stuff. Any insights?

"Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, cause you're gonna meet the same people on the way down.........It happens to me every day in the sewer.
Ed Norton

Check out my tunes. You will be better off for it.

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Registered: 12/15/03
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: beatlebangboy]
    #2180605 - 12/15/03 07:03 PM (19 years, 11 months ago)

*This post has been edited*

Let's not discuss this type of thing here. It could be very dangerous.


Edited by Karen (01/01/04 03:07 PM)

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Registered: 12/01/03
Posts: 3
Re: A word about Contams [Re: haz]
    #2192047 - 12/19/03 11:24 PM (19 years, 11 months ago)

I too have eaten contaminated shrooms and had an interesting trip, mixed with some rather nasty histimine reactions.

Imagine eating 8-12 grams and triping like a wild man in the emergency room? Too many cops, and how would you explain it to the doctor? I would probably go SANE... : ) Its probably in the top 5 things that will get one busted also.

This is reason enough to throw out anything that looks contaminated.

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The God

Registered: 12/29/03
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Last seen: 19 years, 7 months
Re: A word about Contams [Re: haz]
    #2208938 - 12/30/03 12:11 AM (19 years, 11 months ago)

I ate a mushroom I was unsure about.  I did not know how bad the effects could get.  Not sure what I had but I was losing liquid from all ends at the same time.  I threw myself in the shower thinking "I need water and skins the biggest organ..."  While I was there I could have swore the devil was standing behind me.  I'd say it was a reeeeaaaalllly WIERD "vacation".  This happened as everyone else was coming down (about 6 hrs later).  Nice to know my body won't let it happen again (if that's true) but I wouldn't chance it...EVER. :devil:

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Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 344
Loc: The land of The People
Re: A word about Contams [Re: WildCardsRevenge]
    #2209055 - 12/30/03 01:31 AM (19 years, 11 months ago)


However, Maybe I'm just lucky. But I have eaten shrooms from cakes that had green mold growing on the same cake on the other side and noticed NOTHING> in the trip. I don't know if this is true or a placebo people get when the trip goes "south" blame it on the green mold. IMO< I have eaten shrooms from very funky looking cakes and had no adverse reactions whatsoever. Do I just have a larger than normal LIVER or something I do however, throw out the ones that were contamed before birthing. THose definately are too nasty, bochulism possibility there. ???BTW>I DO NOT SUGGEST ANYONE EAT MUSHROOMS FROM CONTAMINATED CAKES>>>

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Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 1,677
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Re: A word about Contams [Re: medicinebag]
    #2213402 - 01/01/04 03:13 PM (19 years, 10 months ago)

Medicine Bag,

It is true that you may not get sick from eating from contiminated cakes but that doesn't mean you won't.

The biggest problem with eating contaminated mushrooms is that it is nearly impossible to specifically identify the contam without microscopic and other research. Many contams look alike some are dangerous and others are not but you can't tell the difference between these with the naked eye.

You might think that you have identified your contam as something harmless but you are really ingesting something deadly.

Also once a cake has been comprimised it is susceptable to other contaminates that you may not see.

It is just not safe practice to eat mushrooms from contaminated cakes. It is a risk that one should not take.

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a gnome
Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 11
Last seen: 13 years, 7 months
Re: A word about Contams [Re: Karen]
    #2225103 - 01/07/04 04:08 AM (19 years, 10 months ago)

last time i sniff funky cakes to see how funky it is

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