Extension News

Morel Mushroom Certification Workshops Are May 3 and 5


AMES, Iowa — Properly identifying a morel mushroom can mean the difference between finding something tasty and finding something potentially poisonous. Iowa State University (ISU) is offering a three-hour workshop for certification training on identifying morels and false morels.

The training is in response to a change in the Iowa Administrative Code that beMorel mushroomscame effective April 1. The code states that "food service establishments can serve or sell morel mushrooms [only] if procured from an individual who has completed a morel mushroom expert identification course" (481 IAC 31.1(12) amending the 2005 FDA Food Sect. 3-201.16).

The workshop — being held May 3 in Cedar Rapids and May 5 in Ames — allows any Iowan to become certified so he or she can sell or serve morel mushrooms to food establishments. Previously, only individuals who were certified mushroom experts could sell or serve morel mushrooms.

The workshop agenda includes: pre-training identification test, PowerPoint presentation on recognizing morels and false morels, examination of fresh and preserved specimens of morels and false morels, post-training identification test (and re-testing as needed), presentation/signing of wall-size and wallet-size training certificates.

Workshop dates, times and locations are:

Monday, May 3
• Flamingo Restaurant, 1211 Ellis Blvd., Cedar Rapids
• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• $45, payable at the workshop

Wednesday, May 5
• Room 205, Bessey Hall, Iowa State University, Ames
• 1-4 p.m.
• $45, payable at the workshop
• Parking available in ISU lots 41 and 68. Permits will be issued.

The workshop will be conducted by Mark Gleason, ISU Extension plant pathologist and professor with the ISU Department of Plant Pathology. Pre-registration is not required, but please contact Gleason at least one day in advance to ensure enough space and materials are available. Gleason can be reached at 515-294-0579 or mgleason@iastate.edu for reservations or additional questions.

For more information on Iowa mushrooms, check out these ISU Extension publications:
• Morels, False Morels and Other Cup Fungi
• Iowa's Mushrooms and Nonflowering Plants
• Mushrooms and Other Related Fungi


Contacts :

Mark Gleason, Plant Pathology, 515-294-0579, mgleason@iastate.edu

Christopher Weishaar, Extension Communications and External Relations, 515-294-1327, cweishaa@iastate.edu