Friday, November 21, 2008

My new plant and ramblings about Food Safety

While in Texas, Kendell and I visited an Ikea ( I love Ikea and I wish one would open up in Hawaii). One item which I purchased was a basil plant kit. I've been taking care of it and "feeding" with water and using my OTT-lite for light. The instructions on the package specifically say NOT to put the plant outside. That's a good think because it is currently 26F in Illinois. I'm hoping that in a few weeks we'll be partaking in some fresh basil.
On to the disturbing news of the poisoning. Yes, I think Mike and I got a case of food poisoning on Wednesday night which hit us on Thursday. It hit Mike around 5pm on Thursday and me at about 8:30pm. Since we were not eating the same foods between Tuesday through Thursday, except for dinner on Wednesday night (we ate out), we concluded it was Wednesday dinner. I'll spare you the details, but Thursday night was awful! I ended up drinking lots of water and curling up in the fetal position to go to sleep.

It's funny, just the other day, a few of us in lab were talking about food aversions based on bad experiences. One of my labmates cannot eat orange chicken because it's the last food item she ate before she had meningitis and could not eat for two weeks. I have an aversion against "Berry Berry Kix" because back in Elementary school I used to really like it, so my mom bought boxes of it and that's all I ate for breakfast. I also stopped eating ground beef from 6th-10th grade because I had a stomach flu and my mom was cooking ground beef when I was sick.

This was my lunch today. Lightly flavored water with electrolytes. Oh and some saltines. For the educational part of my blog, here's some basic food safety and sanitation tips:
1. Wash your hands for at least 15-20 seconds prior to cooking (15-20 sec=singing the "Happy Birthday"song twice)
2. Do not cross contaminate your food. If you are working with meat, poultry, or seafood, do not use the same surface to cut your produce.
3. Beware of the "Food Temperature Danger Zone" Avoid keeping foods between the temperature range of 40-140F. This is the prime temperature range that bacteria like to grow. Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold.
4. Heat your food up to proper temperatures.
5. "When in doubt, throw it out." If foods do not seem good, the "sniffing test" doesn't always work. If you want to avoid a sore tummy, just chuck it.
6. FIFO (first in, first out). Use the items in your fridge/pantry in a systematic order. Rotate items and consume the older products first.

There are many more rules to follow to ensure safe food consumption, but those are the basics that I can quickly ramble off. We are nearing the Thanksgiving season, so please extra cautious in the kitchen to avoid any foodborne illnessed


Keane said...

Sorry to hear about your shared gastric misery ... but at least you weren't traveling! I'm pretty sure I got food poisoned on my last trip to Japan. Spending a day in the hotel room hoping that it passed before getting on the plane was unpleasant to say the least.

K and S said...

hope you and Mike are feeling better now. take care!

genkitummy said...

Keane-That doesn't sound like a good situation. Were you okay before your flight?

Thanks Kat! We're feeling much better now.