Friday, February 10, 2006

food poisoning

Oy, vey. 36 hours later, I'm now recovered from a case of food poisoning. It's been years and years since that's happened to me... A certain Chinese take-out place is gonna get a call to 311 (the city's information line) on their behalf...

I very likely got hit by the most common cause of food poisoning, staphlococcus aureus. The staph bacteria typically comes from food preparers with some sort of mild skin infection who work with room-temperature food. In this case, I'm guessing that the chicken in my General Tso's sat out at room temperature for too long while being prepared. Interestingly, it's not the bacteria itself that causes the really annoying symptoms, it's a toxin produced by the bacteria as it replicates. Although you can kill the bacteria with heat (over 140 degrees), or prevent their replication with cold (under 40 degrees), you can't get rid of the toxin after it's been produced. So that chicken probably was correctly refrigerated after preparation, then deep fried to order, but it didn't matter because the damage was already done... Interesting, but I'm not inclined to do further 1st-person research on this one...

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2 Comments:

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Mona said...

Wow, I had a food poisonin experience recently and it was not fun! How do you know exactly what food it came from? I made an educated guess because I tried these meats at an Italian restaurant in B'lyn and the next day I was in the fetal position in my bed all day...I wrote about it on my blog then some blogger mentioned sometimes food poisoning doesn't kick in for 2-3 days. It had to be that food because everything else I ate was simple and per my everyday routine...

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Harlan said...

I don't know for sure, but an educated guess! I did a bit of research on food poisoning, and the most common type, which causes the symptoms I had, strikes 3 hours or so after you eat. Right on schedule...

Here's a web site with the run-down...

Looks like the other blogger's right too. Some types of food poisoning, especially the really nasty ones like salmonella and lysteria, are actual infections and take days to appear after you ingest the bacteria.

Of course, life's too short to avoid Italian meats, just because of a little risk of food poisoning! The same cannot be said, however, for takeout Chinese food...

 

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