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Officials Warn Against Eating Chestnuts From Farmers Market

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horse chestnut (istockphoto)

horse chestnut (istockphoto)

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ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - Officials are warning people not to eat chestnuts that were picked up during a farmers market this week at Cobblestone Farms in Ann Arbor.

George Taylor, longtime president of the Cobblestone Farm Association, said people were harvesting chestnuts from the ground on Tuesday.

“We didn’t know if people were planning to eat them so we wanted to let them know that it’s not safe,” Taylor told AnnArbor.com.

An email from market co-manager Jeannine Palms said it turns out the nuts are actually horse chestnuts, which can be toxic to humans, instead of edible sweet chestnuts. Palms said people shouldn’t eat the horse chestnuts, regardless whether they’re raw or roasted.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, horse chestnut contains significant amounts of a poison called esculin and can cause death if eaten raw.

Signs of poisoning include upset stomach, kidney problems, muscle twitching, weakness, loss of coordination, enlarged eye pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis and stupor.

The ASPCA says horse chestnuts are also toxic to animals.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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