Date: July 19 2023


Jon Ebelt, Communications Director, DPHHS,

Holly Whaley, Communications Specialist, GCCHD,         

DPHHS and GCCHD Provide Final Summary on Foodborne Outbreak Linked to Morel Mushrooms

Between March 28 and April 17, 2023, over 50 individuals reported becoming sick with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms after eating at Dave’s Sushi in Bozeman, MT. As previously reported, two of these individuals died and three were hospitalized.

The Gallatin City-County Health Department (GCCHD) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) have continued the outbreak investigation in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This investigation has been a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary undertaking. At this time, there is no further risk to the public for illness associated with this outbreak.

The public health departments have published a summary report to indicate the findings from this outbreak investigation. The report is available here: Report_FinalSummary_FBIOutbreak_7.19.2023-Final.pdf ( []

The results from this investigation have indicated that consuming morel mushrooms at the restaurant was strongly associated with developing GI illness. Additionally, DPHHS and GCCHD also worked with the FDA to perform testing on food samples. DNA sequencing was performed on the morel mushroom samples, and identified the species as Morchella sextelata, a type of true morel.

GCCHD has been performing regular inspections of Dave's Sushi to make sure that it continues to operate and serve the public safely. The restaurant remains cooperative with GCCHD to maintain a safe and healthy operation. 

Anyone eating, selling, or serving morel mushrooms should use caution when doing so. The toxins in morel mushrooms that may cause illness are not fully understood. However, it is known that using proper preparation techniques, including cooking, can help reduce toxicity and risk of illness when consuming mushrooms.

There are varieties of poisonous wild mushrooms that look very similar to morel mushrooms. Public health officials recommend those preparing morels should confirm the identity of each individual mushroom, and consult with a knowledgeable expert, as poisonous species have been known to grow near edible species in the wild. Choose mushrooms that are dry and firm, and avoid those that are bruised, discolored, slimy, or otherwise spoiled.

Morel mushrooms should be refrigerated at a temperature of 40°F or below, in breathable type packaging, such as a paper bag. Morels should be cooked thoroughly prior to consumption, as this is likely to reduce toxin levels present in the mushrooms.

Individuals who become ill after consuming morels should contact their healthcare provider immediately and/or call the Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.