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Several groups of mushroom contain toxic compounds known as amatoxins. These can be fatal, even in small doses. Wayne shares his tips for avoiding poisonous fungi: Foraging must be done with an expert until identification abilities are well developed to identify edible mushrooms with confidence. Even then, a mushroom guide, such as Mushrooms by Roger Phillips, should be carried. Online images are not sufficiently reliable, so research is crucial. Many mushrooms can be identified by their appearance, for example, whether the underside of its cap has gills, tubes or spines, or if it has grown out of a sack. However, many poisonous fungi look like common edibles. Taking a spore print can help. The method encourages the mushroom to release its spores onto a piece of paper, creating a distinguishing pattern. Different types of mushroom create different spore prints. To get a print, the cap is placed on a piece of paper which is half white and half black, spritzed with a little water, then placed in an air-tight container overnight. If the fungi cannot be identified with total confidence, it must not be eaten. What can be identified, is cooked to kill off any harmful bacteria. If it is a mushroom not had before, a small amount is first tried. All fungi contain chemicals that may cause an intolerance or adverse reaction. It is essential to get to know poisonous species, as some can be harmful simply through handling.