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Iowa has morel mushroom inspectors

May 03, 2010 at 08:00 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The hunt is on Iowa for wild morel mushrooms, and the state is now making it easier for restaurants and grocery stores to sell the hot commodity.

Iowa adopted strict federal standards in 2008 that forbids morels from being sold unless they’re inspected by a federally certified morel expert. Since Iowa is extremely short of those experts, restaurants and groceries haven’t been able to find stocks of morels.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has now created a three-hour program to certify those inspectors.

Iowa State University professor Mark Gleason says people don’t want to risk ingesting the wrong kind of mushroom. He says mistakes have been made, and people have ended up in the emergency room.

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