Two residents of a Loomis senior care facility died and four other people were hospitalized after consuming soup with wild mushrooms harvested by a caregiver, the Placer County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Reed said Saturday that deputies were called at 10 a.m. Friday to the Gold Age Villa, a care home for the elderly on a rustic, tree-shaded property, tucked amid a community of equestrian estates along Horseshoe Bar Road.
“We got a report that some people had consumed some poisonous mushrooms,” Reed said. “We responded out to the facility and interviewed people to make sure there was no foul play. There wasn’t any … It was an accident.”
Reed said a caregiver who prepared the meal with the mushrooms was among the six people sickened. The two residents who died were identified as Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, he said. The caregiver and three residents were hospitalized, he said.
Reed called the event a tragedy, in which the caregiver “just didn’t know” the mushrooms were poisonous. Last year, the California Department of Public Health warned that collecting and eating wild mushrooms can cause cramping, vomiting and diarrhea as well as liver and kidney failure.