Saturday, 7 January 2012

Chef kills 2

Liu Jun, a Chinese chef working in Australia, thought death cap mushrooms were edible and killed himself and assistant Tsou Hsiang by cooking them in a stir fry. Photograph: Alamy
A chef and his assistant have died after eating poisonous mushrooms they cooked for themselves in the Australian restaurant kitchen where they worked.
Liu Jun, 38, a chef visiting from China, and his female kitchenhand, Tsou Hsiang, 52, died from liver failure at a hospital on Tuesday night after eating death cap mushrooms on New Year's Eve at the Harmonie German Club in Canberra.
The two had used the mushrooms to make a stir fry in the kitchen of the club's Chinese bistro. The manager of the club, Mick Thamer, said the meal had not been offered to the public.
Liu's friend Tom O'Dea said the chef had picked the mushrooms himself, mistaking them for edible straw mushrooms.
A third person who shared the dinner with Liu and Tsou was discharged from hospital on Tuesday.
Thamer told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the mushrooms were brought into the club for a private meal and cooked after work. 
"It was not a meal on the bistro menu, and was not a meal that was offered to or available to the public," he said.
Health authorities said they had inspected the kitchen and there was no risk to the public.
A single death cap mushroom can kill an adult – they are among the most poisonous in the world.

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