Have you ever had food poisoning? The first time I remember was when I was 13 or 14. My French exchange student was visiting my family after I had visited her in Lyons in the spring. So this memory is from early summer.
My family had a big event at a local grand Indian restaurant. Usually we had take away curry from the local Indian restaurant at the end of our street: The kitchen table groaning with different options as we did, and still do, order too much. We all have our favorites!! This time though we went out for a meal that happened to be a curry.
The next day, Dad took myself and my French exchange pal to Ludlow. Note this was a bus trip as neither of my parents drive. So I am sitting on the bus, the very full bus, and my belly starts hurting and moving and doing all kinds of painful, weird out of control things.
Remember I am on a bus. Busses do not have toilets.
I am feeling rather green with my internal body being completely out of my control. I am clenching everything from my mouth to my butt to try to control what is happening in my digestive system. If you’ve had food poisoning you know exactly what I mean.
As we pulled into Ludlow, I threw up. Right down the center aisle of the bus. In front of everyone. EVERYONE. It was awful. I was so embarrassed and I was also worried more was going to happen if I didn’t get off the bus RIGHT THEN and find a restroom.
I’m still cringing at the memory. And clenching everything like I did back then.
I was lucky that time. I only felt ill for a short time. I’ve had worse bouts of foodborne illness since. This was the most embarrassing because of the public nature of my illness and being a teenager. I was with a person my age who was a visitor to my country and I am sort of trying to impress because French and exchange student. Food poisoning took every chance of me being cool away. It took me years before I could even look at a curry again. Decades. I was in my mid 20s when I did my PhD in Leeds and “going for a curry” was a regular social activity. There were a lot of Indian/Pakistani restaurants in West Yorkshire as there was a large Asian immigrant population. Curries were cheap and apparently tasty! I slowly coached myself into eating them again. At first I drowned my curry with raita (cucumber and yogurt) and eventually I was able to have more curry and less raita. I still like raita!
Now I know about foodborne illness and different symptoms and situations that can lead to foodborne illness, I suppose the cause was Bacillus cereus which is commonly found in rice that has been left out after cooking and reheated.
Do you remember your first time you had food poisoning? Do you want another teenager to suffer food poisoning because they ate something you made without following correct food safety procedures? Ensure your product is safe by scheduling a food strategy call NOW! Don’t wait.