Recently the FDA have started to publish some guidelines about foraging for sale or buying to serve to the public in restaurants. This has generated some queries to the club about certifications and what is required to sell wild mushrooms to to restaurants or to the public. In 2018 the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety & Laboratory Services published regulations for the state of Pennsylvania. Foragers/ harvesters of wild mushrooms must first be approved by the Department’s Bureau of
Food Safety & Laboratory Services prior to harvesting. To be approved you need to have taken one of two accepted a mushroom ID courses or hold a Masters degree or higher in Mycology or have written verification from an already identified mushroom expert.
The regulations include an approved list of species that can be sold in PA but that list seems to be orientated towards species found on the west coast. If you take a training course from one of the mushroom ID courses it will certify you for a a list of species that are appropriate to our area:
Pink Chanterelles (Cantharellus cinnabarinus)
Golden Chanterelles (Cantharellus spp.)
Morels (Morchella spp.)
Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax)
Lobster (Hypomyces lactifluorum)
Wood Ears (Auricularia spp.)
Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus spp.)
Beefsteak (Fistulina hepatica)
Hedgehog (Hydnum repandum)
Lions Mane or Pom Pom (Hericium spp.)
White Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus spp.)
Cauliflower (Sparassis spp.)
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Blewits (Clitocybe nuda)
Honey (Armillaria spp.)
Blue Milky (Lactarius indigo)
Golden Milkies (Lactifluus spp.)
Pecan Truffle (Tuber lyonii)
Puffballs ( Lycoperdon, Calvatia spp.)
Regulatory Requirements are listed in the document which include tracking the name of the species, contact information for the harvester, location of the harvest, dates and weight of harvest. This record needs to be kept with the mushrooms after the sale by the harvester and retained for at least 90 days after the last mushroom is sold. For complete details please refer to the document itself.
Edible wild harvested mushrooms for retail sale shall not be harvested from Federal, State, and local parks and forests. For information about where you can legally pick mushrooms for personal use see the Mushroom Picking Rules & Regulations in PA page. The information provided on this page is not legal advice, but only observations based on WPMC’s experience and, where possible, links to further information. The information provided here is not intended to be comprehensive and you should consult an attorney or the relevant government agency for more information about buying to selling mushrooms in Pennsylvania. We would like to thank Ryan E. Hamilton, Esq. from Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services for the presentation he made to the club in August 2016 that helped form the initial draft of this document.
WPMC does promote the gathering of mushrooms–where permitted–for recreational, educational and scientific purposes.
Document updated in May 2019.