Food Poisoning vs. Botulism

June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in CLEANING, COOKING, Food and Drink, health, sick | 3 Comments
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While doing a search for food safety, I found a very interesting bit of information. Check this out….

Did you know that THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “FOOD POISONING” and BOTULISM?

Food Poisoning — This occurs when you ingest food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins made by these germs. Most cases of food poisoning are from common bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, or E. coli. (It can affect just one person or a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food.) Symptoms from the most common types of food poisoning usually start within 2 – 6 hours of ingesting. Symptoms can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and serious dehydration.

Botulism — This is is an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning that is the result of ingesting food contaminated with C. botulinun, which is a nerve toxin (scared yet?). How can you tell if you’ve contracted botulism instead of ordinary food poisoning? Botulism causes an impairment of the muscular system. As a result, many people affected with botulism will have trouble speaking clearly, their breathing will become difficult and they may complain of having double vision or other visual problems.(GET TO THE ER!)

While eating meat is quite a bit more likely to cause food poisoning than eating vegetables, the actual muscle of an animal that is consumed is actually very safe as long as it doesn’t have the skin. That is the reason that you can feel safe eating rare steak, but would never eat rare chicken. It is the skin that is the breeding ground for most bacteria. Cutting through the skin during preparation spreads the dangerous bacteria.  The skin actually acts to protect meat from the bacteria that is crawling all over it, but once the meat is sliced, the bacteria races in to invade. (Which is why hand washing is so important. Beware that studies show that long fingernails carry and transmit lots of extra bacteria too, ladies.) After using a chopping board to cut meat, DO NOT use it again until it has been thoroughly cleaned.  NEVER, EVER allow your raw meat to touch  any other food, for that matter. (Beware of hand towels during prep too. Once you’ve used that towel during meat prep, throw it in the wash with some bleach to avoid cross-contamination.)

sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002618/

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-tell-if-dented-safe-use-2150192.html?cat=25

http://www.mnpoison.org/index.asp?pageID=49

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Floundering

August 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm | Posted in COOKING | Leave a comment
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Well, being a New Englander, I figured it was about time that I tried my hand at preparing fish. Fish is plentiful here and I keep hearing about how inexpensive it is. So, while doing the weekly grocery shopping, I moseyed on up to the fish counter to see what was what. I ended up with a few weekly specials in my cart, one of which was previously frozen so needed cooking pronto. On my last GW excursion, I picked up a couple of fish related cookbooks, so armed with my little bit of knowledge (yes, a dangerous thing), I paid for my fish and scurried on home. Being that I don’t cook ….(frozen pizza and personalized mac and cheese are house specialties at cafe caserio), I felt like quite the brave little toaster.

Flounder

After checking out the recipes for ‘flounder’, I settled on frying as my cooking method of choice. I always err on the side of white trash cuisine, afterall. So, this afternoon, I whipped out the bread crumbs, threw in some dried onion, chipotle, and some thyme from the garden, dipped the fillets in some egg, then the bread crumb mountain and then plopped them into the frying pan. I let my five year old smell the thyme before I used it, so she was eager to try it after it was cooked (am I a genius, or what??). I was quite pleased with the finished product. It was, in a word, YUM. Who knew fish could be tasty (outside of salmon, that is)??? My five year old liked it so much that she has been sneaking additional bites for the last half hour, while I pretend not to notice. How funny is that ?? A kid SNEAKING FISH ???? Still laughing over that one….

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