March 24th, 2014

planet

am I the only one who gets food poisoning?

Last weekend we made a huge pot of spaghetti that got left on the counter for five hours. I posted online someplace else asking if it was okay to eat, and most people said yes.

But I threw it out. It sucked, but spaghetti costs like $5 to remake, and I've had food poisoning twice this year and do not want to risk it again.

I kinda wonder if I'm the only one though, based on answers. I absolutely HATE food poisoning, it ruins a weekend. I've had it several times in the last few years, too. I know some people will get it and blame "the flu" or "a stomach bug" - say they got it from the air and there was just no way to prevent it. But in my experience when a group of people all eat the same thing, then all get very very sick at roughly the same time 12-36 hours later, and then they're all better 8-12 hours after that when the evil is purged, it was food.

So all these people told me "Oh eat the spaghetti, people are so over-paranoid about a little germ these days!" and a lot of them said that you can't put hot food straight into the fridge, you have to let it cool down first otherwise it'll 1) heat up your fridge or 2) grow more bacteria because the food is cooling off "quicker than it should" (huh?) They said if it smells okay, it's good to eat.

I found an FDA website that totally contradicts all that. Says you SHOULD put hot food straight into the fridge. Which has always been my rule... if it's been off the stove for 90 minutes or so, or generally the length of the meal, I throw it in the fridge. I also rotate out foods every hour or so when I have a party. And lately I've been following the recommendation to put food in shallow, small dishes when storing leftovers - convenient for lunches, but also a big safety thing because it cools faster.

Here's my struggle... if I'm being told that I'm paranoid or a germ-a-phobe, is everyone else just tough enough to never get food poisoning? am I a magnet for the stuff? are they in denial about what causes sickness? I'm being really careful and have STILL gotten struck with crap, and it pisses me off!

Normal people: what's your checklist for food safety look like? When will you not eat something? What do you do to keep your food from making you sick? What am I missing?