My friend from Hong Kong read this article that reported two deaths from Auricularia polytricha poisoning. I can't read Chinese, and thus I'm assuming his interpretation is correct. She then warned me not to touch, let alone eat, Auricularia polytricha.
Is her fear warranted? Is she being level-headed and reasonable?
Every week, I make my own Black Fungus with Ginger Strips & Vinegar Dressing based on Din Tai Fung's rendition: