Mushroom season has begun early, and prospective foragers are warned to exercise extreme caution when picking and eating wild fungi.
Victoria's deputy chief health officer, Dr Angie Bone, said poisonous mushrooms were growing around the state.
"The recent conditions have been ideal for poisonous mushrooms, and recent rains have seen them start to sprout much earlier than usual in Victoria," Dr Bone said.
Ingrid Button, an experienced forager from Chewton, said this was the earliest start to mushroom season she had seen in central Victoria in six years.
She said the golden rule for fungi foraging was, "if in doubt, leave it out".
She advises anyone interested in foraging to go out with a local expert, as they will know what is and is not safe in the area.
Mushrooms that look like those from the supermarkets are risk, as they are likely poisonous in the wild.
"If it looks familiar, and it looks like it's from the store, buy from the store," Ms Button said.
She said a common poisonous mushroom was the yellow stainer, which often grew in people's lawns and gardens.
While its consumption did not lead to many hospitalisations, Ms Button said, it would leave a person with an upset stomach for three to four days.
These mushrooms are responsible for most poisonings from wild mushrooms in Victoria, and can look similar to cultivated mushrooms bought in shops.
Of most concern are death caps, which as the name suggests, can kill.
Ms Button said these were not very common in central Victoria, but eating even a small amount could leave a person in need of a liver transplant or even dead.
Death caps grow under oaks and have white gills and a pale yellow-green to olive cap. Ms Button said they also had a stench.
Amid ongoing shortages at supermarkets, Ms Button - who runs foraging workshops - said she believed there would be a big surge in foraging, going off the number of enquiries she had received in recent weeks.