question. have you ever been food poisoned?

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boomchakabowwow

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just wondering.

me twice. i was very young tho, but i remember it well. ended up in the ER both times.

once was a bad mayo dose from a BLT at a Howard Johnsons hotel restaurant.
second..i was maybe 20. bad Chicken Mole from that historic restaurant in Las Crusas, NM. La Posta.

i went decades without eating mayo or chicken mole. i'm cool with both now. i am much more careful now.
 

LostHighway

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Yes, several times. My food poisoning book is languishing somewhere in a box in the basement so I can't identify the specific types I've suffered through but most the most common form has been the one you can get from rice that has been held at <60C/140F for several hours in less than pristinely hygienic conditions. Hits fast, four to eight hours, four to eight more hours of suffering in the bathroom, and then you're basically fine, if a little weak, unless you have underlying conditions. Many of the sneakier forms of food born illness don't hit you for 48 hours or more from when you ate what you shouldn't have eaten so identifying the cause isn't easy.
 

GoodMagic

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Only once. Not sure what tge culprit was, but both my wife and I got it so probably diner out in chapel hill, whole fish . Miserable 24 hrs puking my guts out pounding headache, intense nausea. Luckily neighbor was a fam doc and got some anti- nausea meds, suppository, that put me to sleep. Ugh such a horrible experience.
 

ian

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Yea. I think it was a salad from a Vietnamese restaurant in France. Then I went to visit a friend in Switzerland the next day. Was in terrible shape the entire visit. It’s lucky he knew the time honored remedy of vodka shots + red chili flakes, because otherwise I’d never have recovered.
 

heldentenor

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Twice. Spinach/greens likely handled by less-than-sanitary hands at a national chain had me repainting a shower curtain. Before that, Indian curry held under a heat lamp in the "danger zone" for far too long.
 

rob

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Yep twice, both times I believe from big piles of rice stored at sub optimum temperatures and added to dishes in takeaway food.
 

Mikeadunne

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Yea. I think it was a salad from a Vietnamese restaurant in France. Then I went to visit a friend in Switzerland the next day. Was in terrible shape the entire visit. It’s lucky he knew the time honored remedy of vodka shots + red chili flakes, because otherwise I’d never have recovered.
lol holy **** that's quite a remedy
 

spaceconvoy

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Definitely once, salmonella from undercooked chicken at my grandparents 50th anniversary dinner. Almost everyone got it and it was predictably terrible.
 

MarcelNL

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The worst one was at a large business meeting 20 years ago, in Barcelona where we got stockfish for lunch...a third of the group got their plates a lot later then the others and we got gratinated fish.
A bit later on the airplane my stomach was a bit queasy, yet the ride along the coast was bumpy so hey.

During the taxi ride from the airport to my home I chatted a bit with the driver about the car (Merc diesel V8) and he said it was quicker than most sportscars, which he demonstrated at the next traffic light by launching the car. That was the point where I went very silent and started staring at the window button, coming home I barely made the toilet and there are three whole days that are a total blank in my memory.
To date I cannot see, hear or smell cheese on fish (which I always have found a stupid combo)
 

WiriWiri

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Only twice badly enough to mention with some certainty, despite much travel in less salubrious locations. The first time was in Paris some 20 years ago, when a clam-based pasta dish dramatically returned a few hours later, leading to a series of spectacularly pukey photo opportunities in various tourist locations (behind a Citroen 2cv, on the banks of the Seine etc), followed by a truly miserable return journey on the Eurostar with much of the company I was working for at the time. I will say that the charms of the old Parisian quarter, with its rudimentary toilets (think hole in floor ‘concealed’ behind half-height saloon-style swing doors) were slightly lost on me and my dramatic nodding-donkey expulsions at the time.

Remarkably many years later I had much the same reaction to the very same dish (spaghetti vongole), this time in a well regarded Italian restaurant a mile or two away from home. I‘m usually not a cautious man, but I haven’t risked those little tasty clam bastards since.
 

Corradobrit1

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once was a bad mayo dose
Ditto. Last time I got food poisoning was from this mountain of mayo at a buffet in a hotel 25 years ago. It had that slick sheen that struck me as suspicious at the time but I still took a dollop. Huge mistake. 6 hours later my head was stuck in a toilet bowl. The dehydration is what made me feel real bad but I managed to work through it. I haven't touched open mayo since.
 

sumis

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undercooked a chicken i made for myself. found myself puking and crying on the floor of the office bathroom.

.
 

Corradobrit1

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Only twice badly enough to mention with some certainty, despite much travel in less salubrious locations. The first time was in Paris some 20 years ago, when a clam-based pasta dish dramatically returned a few hours later, leading to a series of spectacularly pukey photo opportunities in various tourist locations (behind a Citroen 2cv, on the banks of the Seine etc), followed by a truly miserable return journey on the Eurostar with much of the company I was working for at the time. I will say that the charms of the old Parisian quarter, with its rudimentary toilets (think hole in floor ‘concealed’ behind half-height saloon-style swing doors) were slightly lost on me and my dramatic nodding-donkey expulsions at the time.

Remarkably many years later I had much the same reaction to the very same dish (spaghetti vongole), this time in a well regarded Italian restaurant a mile or two away from home. I‘m usually not a cautious man, but I haven’t risked those little tasty clam bastards since.
That reminds of another incident when I ate a dodgy quiche lorraine from a bakery in Paris. It was being kept warm under a low power warming lamp. In hindsight all these incidences were completely avoidable.

I never touch oysters.......
 

MarcelNL

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when I eat Oysters or Clams I take great care examing each, bad ones tend to advertize themselves really well...I guess doing that gets old real fast when you work in the food industry so I avoid that sort of food other than where I can see the Sea.
 

WiriWiri

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That reminds of another incident when I ate a dodgy quiche lorraine from a bakery in Paris. It was being kept warm under a low power warming lamp. In hindsight all these incidences were completely avoidable.

I never touch oysters.......
Generally I’ll eat anywhere, albeit largely under the principle that if it‘s popular and cooked in front of me I reckon my stomach will deal with it. I tend to avoid buffets, salad bars and where food‘s been hanging around indefinitely

Seafood, particularly bivalves, seem a bit like russian roulette, but they’re too darn tasty (imo) to want to avoid entirely, Sadly there‘s often no indication that anything’s amiss with the food in terms of taste and sometimes even the most hygenic of places get caught out by bad bottom-feeders- I thoroughly enjoyed both Vongoles at the time fwiw
 

Jovidah

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At least once, I think. At least that's what it started out as. Then it took at least 6 months before there was any recovery and a fully year before I was remotely okay again. And it never fully recovered.
 

Knivperson

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When i was in the Philippines i had it 3 times in 3 weeks. Just happened over and over. Should probably not have eaten those chicken guts.
 

Brian Weekley

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Seafood, particularly bivalves, seem a bit like russian roulette, but they’re too darn tasty (imo) to want to avoid entirely, Sadly there‘s often no indication that anything’s amiss with the food in terms of taste and sometimes even the most hygenic of places get caught out by bad bottom-feeders- I thoroughly enjoyed both Vongoles at the time fwiw
Read Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential” for his views on eating bi-valves at restaurants. A bi-valve food poisoning episode was solely responsib for his conversion from atheist to god believer as he prayed for a quick death to escape the effects of a single mussel.

As for me I got my one and only case of food poisoning fifty years ago from a hamburger sold to me by a drive-in that had just been voted as serving the best hamburger in Canada. It was a “moving” experience burned into my memory like it happened yesterday. Not to be forgotten … or repeated.
 

Michi

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More times than I can count. I've travelled a lot over the years. Quite often to the kinds of places people know about only from documentaries. Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Greece, Thailand, Singapore, UAE, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, and lots of other countries. I've managed to catch something or other from food in many of these places.

Usually, it's not that terrible, if thoroughly unpleasant: a bout of vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, etc. Normally, it's over after about three days. Each and every time, I got the infection by eating things that all travel guides tell you not to eat. Such as chicken giblets from a street vendor in Ghana, seafood from a street vendor in Thailand, and so on.

Despite that, I wouldn't ever change anything. I've made experiences (and not just culinary ones) by doing what normal people don't do, and I'm the richer for it.

I caught the absolute worst infection of my life in Singapore. I was there for a week, teaching a bunch of engineers. On the Thursday of that week, they told me that they'd like to take me out for dinner and asked me what I would like to eat. I told them that I would like to eat whatever it is that they would like to eat, because I don't go to another country only to eat the same stuff as I eat at home.

They treated me to a lavish dinner at a very expensive and exclusive waterfront restaurant. There was plenty of food (mostly seafood), and the coup de grâce was a giant chilli crab, which was awesome. Afterwards, we found a street vendor and had some durian before heading home.

That night, about three hours later, I woke up, vomited, and had severe diarrhoea. Because I had another full day of teaching to do, I dragged myself to work in the morning and taught a class the entire day, running a 39+ ºC temperature. Then, at about 7 pm, I made my way to the airport to fly back to Brisbane.

The flight takes about ten hours. About a third of the time, I was sitting in my seat and getting soaked by my own sweat, running a very high temperature, and being thoroughly miserable. The second third of the time, I spent with chills and shivering convulsively. The remainder of the time I spent on the toilet, occasionally switching ends from which to empty myself…

When we finally arrived in Brisbane, I was going through a hot phase. When I fronted up at immigration, I could barely stand straight, and I had so much sweat running down my forehead that I had to wipe myself every few seconds. The immigration officer took one look and obviously decided that "this guy is really nervous about something or other", despite me explaining that I was really sick.

So, very politely and methodically, immigration officers took apart every last bit of my luggage and did a body search. All the while I wished I could die. It took them well over an hour until they finally let me go.

I went directly to a doctor, straight from the airport. They gave me some aspirin and collected a stool sample. The next morning, they called me back and told me that I had cryptosporidium. It's a parasite that is really quite nasty. The treatment wasn't antibiotics. Instead, they went straight to sulphonamides.

I got better within five days, but it took months to really get over the lingering weakness. And that was when I was thirty years younger.

And, still, I'd do it again. That chilli crab was out of this world…
 

Grayswandir

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Yup.

I was on an Indian reservation and was served some red hotdogs by my wife's father (something I've never seen before, outside of eating a "Bahama Mamma"). I ate one hotdog, then my wife and I left for home (the east coast). As I drove along Interstate 90 heading back home, I started feeling some awfully painful stomach cramps. They got more severe as time went on, to the point of me wanting to go to the hospital. Problem was, we were in the middle of nowhere. I think the nearest hospital was well over one hundred miles away. The pain got so bad that I found a cheap motel and decided to sleep it off. The night was dark and full of terrors.

Suffice it to say, I survived, but I'll never eat another red hotdog again. An honestly, it could have been the water the hotdogs were boiled in for all I know. The water quality on the res wasn't exactly up to the national standards.
 

cooktocut

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Oof reading these makes my stomach hurt.

I have a dumb one for you guys. I once warmed up a bag of chili in sous vide and got severly ill after eating it. The cause? Not drying off the bag before dumping the contents into a bowl. Specifically remember watching the water dripping into the bowl and not thinking anything of it. Well that water had sat for weeks. Two valuable lessons learned from that... swap out your water regularly, and dry off the outside of your bags
 

Luftmensch

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Then, at about 7 pm, I made my way to the airport to fly back to Brisbane.

The flight takes about ten hours. About a third of the time, I was sitting in my seat and getting soaked by my own sweat, running a very high temperature, and being thoroughly miserable. The second third of the time, I spent with chills and shivering convulsively. The remainder of the time I spent on the toilet, occasionally switching ends from which to empty myself…
You are a brave soul...

Food poisoning on a plane is one of my nightmares. The idea of being stuck in a tiny seat, sweating bullets and praying you can get to the toilet for the multiple emergencies makes me feel very claustrophobic. Holding your arse and mouth while that innocent dude from three rows up (who has just become enemy #1), slowly passes that earlier, horrid smelling imitation of scrambled eggs... terrifying.




India...

Only time I have vomited on myself because I couldnt stop shitting..
A little more story telling.... I did all the 'right' things. We were there for a wedding. Who knows what caused the bug. It was a fancy joint and all the food was cooked. It got about a third of the guests. It was funny retrospect. I remember having a blast of a night. The guests started disappearing one by one, like a horror film. I think it only really dawned on us that it was widespread in the wee hours of the morning. By then I had been a seemingly endless stream of fluids from both ends (sometimes at the same time) for four to five hours. Fuzziness.

My partner had been bringing me bottled water all night and soothing me, "get it all out, it will pass". Call to prayers. Hilariously, a significant number of the guests were doctors. By breakfast, those who hadnt been taken by the shittening were sharing stories. My partner bumped into one of the doctors. "Hang on a tick! Get this in em"

Never has a drug worked so quickly for me. After pouring out liquids for what seemed like an eternity, the nausea faded. The sweating stopped. As I started to drift off... I had the luxury of occupying my mental space with other thoughts. Ah ha! There you are! Resentment my old friend! What a privilege! Where was this bloody pill all night? Perhaps I could have saved myself six hours of grief. Four hours of mediocre sleep. Bliss.

Such a great trip.
 

Brian Weekley

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I have heard that “burned toast” is a good treatment for fp. Don’t know whether it’s true or not, but I guess I’d grasp at anything during a “shittening”.
 

Luftmensch

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I have heard that “burned toast” is a good treatment for fp. Don’t know whether it’s true or not, but I guess I’d grasp at anything during a “shittening”.
Interesting. Plausible I suppose? I can see how it shares commonalities with activated charcoal. Dunno if it works anything like it! Or if activated charcoal is even appropriate if your "shittening" is caused by bacteria (surely it would not effective against parasites)...
 

Brian Weekley

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The guy who told me that said that he had been afflicted with a “shittening” on a pack trip by horse into the Canadian foothills. He said that the guide … an experienced wrangler … had fed him burned toast until the symptoms disappeared. I don’t know whats worse … surviving a “shittening” in an airplane seat or on horseback. Neither I suppose.
 

Grayswandir

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It sounds fricking horrible Brian. I think I'll take horseback, at least you're not stuck in the closed confines of an airplane.
 

btbyrd

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A lot of people blame mayo for their problems, but all commercially prepared mayo is very safe from a microbiological standpoint. It's made with pasteurized eggs and the pH is low enough to stop any nasties from growing -- not that there's enough water activity in there to allow much to grow in the first place. Mayo is a very low risk food and it actually enhances the food safety of a dish when it's added as an ingredient.
 

Grayswandir

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A lot of people blame mayo for their problems, but all commercially prepared mayo is very safe from a microbiological standpoint. It's made with pasteurized eggs and the pH is low enough to stop any nasties from growing -- not that there's enough water activity in there to allow much to grow in the first place. Mayo is a very low risk food and it actually enhances the food safety of a dish when it's added as an ingredient.
I'm not sure I buy that byrd, but I suppose you could be correct. The hard part to believe is it would actually enhance food safety. You are right though, it's been ultra-pasteurized, and doesn't really resemble fresh mayo too closely. We nuke almonds that enter the country, so I guess it's not that far-fetched.
 
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