food poisoning, food safety, Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans


That’s right, ladies! You read it here first! A sure-fire way to get rid of multiple pounds overnight.

  • Step One – Get FOOD POISONING.
  • Step Two – Spend 24 hours in intestinal hell. (I’ll leave that to your imaginiation. But trust me, your imagination isn’t doing justice to the reality of the situation.)
  • Step Three – Be too worn out from the experience, and too worried about further intestinal issues, to even contemplate ingesting anything in solid form for a further 24 hours.

Warning: there are some side effects associated with this regime. Your significant other will witness at least one “episode”, with which he/she will taunt you forever. Any offspring in your house will be completely freaked out. Expect to feel too weak to resume normal activities for 1-2 days. You probably won’t feel up to working out for 3-5 days. You’ll tire easily. Your former favorite foods, which may or may not have been the culprit – but you’re not entirely sure – will turn your stomach for the foreseeable future.

But hey, it’s worth it for a smaller number on the scale, right??

Of course it isn’t.

Serioulsy, this happened to me this last weekend. It… well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. I’m pretty sure I got food poisoning as a result of a restaurant meal, as it was the only thing I ate that differed from what everyone else in the family ate . Additionally, I am meticulous about home food preparation and storage. There’s not a lot you can control in a restaurant setting – although of course if you’re a meat-eater and your meat is undercooked, don’t be mealy-mouthed about it! Say something, send it back, and ask for a fresh plate! But in your home? There are many things you can do to help to make sure the food you and your family are eating are safe. Here are just a few:

  1. Wash your fruit and vegetables before eating them.
  2. When buying produce, only buy what you’ll use within the next 5-7 days.
  3. Refrigerate fresh fruit and veg (potatoes, bananas, and a few others being the exceptions).
  4. Toss cooked vegetables after 3-4 days in the fridge.
  5. Wash. Wash your hands, wash your counters, wash your veg storage bins.
  6. Invest in a refrigerator thermometer. Your fridge should be less than 40 degrees F.
  7. Store restaurant leftovers in the fridge, and discard if not used in a few days.
  8. Pizza is not a non-perishable food. Don’t store it overnight on the kitchen counter!
  9. Clean – not rinse, CLEAN – your knives, your kitchen shears, and your can opener.
  10. Check out Home Food Safety for a wealth of other tips.

Not being a meat-eater (at home, that is. I still blame that taco salad for this weekend’s fiasco) I can’t really give meat prep tips. Using a separate cutting board, proper refrigeration, and cooking to the correct internal temperature come to mind, but perhaps some of my omnivorous friends could interject a few seasoned tips here?? And be sure to check out the link above. This information could save you many hours of – best case scenario – severe intestinal discomfort. I was lucky. Food poisoning can be serious. Deadly serious. Don’t let it happen to you. Take what steps you can to keep yourself and your family safe!

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