Food Poisoning 101

Food Poisoning 101
Ah, if you’re a homecook, as I suspect every one of my readers is, every once in a while, you and/or your guests wake up at 3-4 in the morning with the runs and immediately review what you/they/I had for dinner 5-8 hours ago. And it was that the one dammed clam from off New Jersey that was the culprit, wasn’t it? Well, don’t be so sure. Maybe, like the week this was written, when my downstairs neighbor, upstairs baby and I were all sick gastrointestinally (how did I know? oh, I heard the toilet noise through the walls), it was touching the handrail on Escalier A, or the dirty glass at Bistro B or getting coughed at on the Métro—yes, as shocking as this may be, it’s not true that GI stuff goes only bowel-to-bowel and respiratory stuff breath-to-breath; you don’t want to think about the permutations and computations. And certainly not about vectors (read dirty little germ-carrying MFs). So back to the bad New Jersey clam. (Please don’t sue me, Jersey lawyers—I could use Long Island, Brittany, New Zealand, you name it, anywhere.) You think back: yah the bacon I had for breakfast seemed a bit off, spoiled, maybe, the confited goose had funny stuff creeping out of its fat, if I think about it, the clementine I had seemed a bit tired—frozen maybe on the truck from Sicily. Who is to blame? Well science tells you, just  look at the hours from ingestion to illness. That’ll pin the guilty to the wall. OK. It’s clear: 1 – 6 hours afterward you ate the – what – and you got Staphylococcus. 8 – 36 hours ago you had that can of – what was it? 8 – 48 hours ago you got salmonella from those hummm. 24 – 72 hours ago you got the E. coli in that jeez. 2 – 4 days ago you cannot possibly remember everything you had that might have had Campylobacter. You mean because I wake up at 4 AM, that could be up to 4 days after I touched/breathed/ate something? That’s not fair, I want to blame someone and make them pay. I’m American—I’ll call my lawyer. (Sure!) Bottom line: Let me quote from that great medical reference wikipedia: “Foodborne illness usually arises from improper handling, preparation, or food storage.”  Not that clam? The lobster? That egg, that bacon, ohh la la. This is one of the reasons that most responsible websites and print media refuse to publish articles/letters/posts/etc. about “I got poisoned at Restaurant R – don’t darken their door!” ©by John Talbott 2011 If you’re coming to France and want to remove the stress out of any and all planning, dynamo Lisa Buros-Hutchins of can arrange anything and everything, including planning your honeymoon and/or making dinner reservations. Nothing is beyond her. Say Bonjour Paris referred you and put her to the test of making your stay in France perfect. Please don’t leave home without: Medjet Assist. As a member of MedjetAssist, if you become hospitalized as an inpatient more than 150 miles from home, you will be transported at your discretion to the hospital of your choice from virtually anywhere in the world – at no additional cost.  Domestic air medical evacuations average $20,000 while international medical evacuations can exceed $100,000 – but not with the protection of MedjetAssist.

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