Officials: West Barnstable Farmstand Shut Down for ‘Poison’ Chestnuts

chestnutsBARNSTABLE – The Town of Barnstable Board of Health has shut down a farmstand on Route 149/Meetinghouse Way in West Barnstable because of evidence it was selling poisonous chestnuts.

The farmstand is at 2412 Meetinghouse Way/Route 149 in West Barnstable, approximately across from the West Barnstable General Store, near the intersection with Route 6A.

The town is issuing a health warning about the chestnuts. It also obtained a temporary reStraining order from the Barnstable Superior Court which prevents the farm stand from operating for the time being.

Town officials are concerned that people may have purchased the chestnuts and frozen them to eat during the holidays.

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“Anyone who purchased chestnuts from the farm stand should not consume them and should return them to the Board of Health,” according to a notice from Barnstable Board of Health Agent Thomas McKean.

According to a town official, the Barnstable Board of Health received a complaint from someone who purchased chestnuts from the farmstand and reportedly fell ill.

Board of Health staffers went to the farmstand to try to get chestnuts to test but the farmstand manager said he did not have any and refused to provide information about them, according to a town official.

The board of health then had the remaining chestnuts purchased from the woman who complained. The chestnuts were tested by William Clark of the Barnstable County Extension Service.

He said the chestnuts the woman provided from the farmstand were horse chestnuts, which are not edible and consumption can lead to illness and even death depending on the quantity eaten.

The emergency court order to close the stand is in place until at least Tuesday when the farmstand owner can appeal it.