While we’re all eager to get back to dining out, and restaurants welcome us back in the wake of this pandemic, it is a good time to appreciate the laws governing healthy food handling practices.
In case you don’t realize the importance of governmental organizations such as your county health department, all it takes to appreciate such laws is a tour through a website such as IWasPoisoned.com. The site gathers information about food poisoning events from real people like you and I.
At the risk of making you never want to dine out at a fast food restaurant ever again, we’ll share an example of a testimonial (if you want to call it that) about a food poisoning experience as reported on Iwaspoisoned.com. This one is from a Burger King near my home that captures just one of thousands of such reports:
“I got an Impossible Whopper combo meal yesterday for lunch. Within an hour I began feeling as if something was wrong. I soon began to experience vomiting and diarrhea. I took an anti-nausea medication, which stopped the vomiting, but the bloating of my abdomen and the diarrhea continued for several hours after. I realized that, the last time I got an Impossible Whopper from a different location, I also got sick in the exact same way. Prior to this I had eaten the Impossible Whopper several times without incident that I can remember. After an online search I found several reports that other people have experienced food poisoning-like symptoms after eating this product. Clearly there is a dangerous problem here that needs attention. ”
Have a pizza that, willya?
My own experience with food poisoning is fortunately limited. But I nearly died from the worst incident of all. I visited a pizza franchise restaurant while in Michigan for a national track competition. That night is one I’ll never forget. After racing in the steeplechase on Saturday afternoon, I ate almost an entire medium pizza, then went back to the hotel with teammates to sleep it off.
An hour or so later I started feeling queasy. For the rest of the night I was violently sick and threw up everything I’d eaten and more. At an already lean 139 lbs at 6’1.5″, I was skinny, plus a bit dehydrated from racing in the heat that day. Overnight I lost nearly six pounds in water weight and wound up with aching ribs and tingling fingers from dehydration. The convulsions associated with devastating food poisoning continued well into the morning.
As was the practice in the days of close college expenses, our track teammates shared beds in the hotel room. My college roommate and I shared a bed, and he was forced to deal with the dire situation. In the morning, our coach came in to check on me and told me everything would be okay. I replied, “If you don’t take me to the hospital right now, I’ll die.”
So we drove to the hospital and they plopped my skinny body into a wheelchair. In the emergency room I was pumped full of IV fluids and essentially force-fed some thick nutrient drink and bananas. Thus somewhat recovered (more like saved) I was discharged and we drove to Illinois where coach dropped me off at home.
Heat vs. Poison
For years I thought it was heat prostration that had caused that illness. It made sense that racing in conditions when the temps were in the high 80s and equally thick humidity could make you sick. Then one day while running on a hot day, I was thinking back on the circumstances of that race and suddenly recalled eating that pizza. A light finally went on: “That wasn’t the heat,” I said out loud during a run. “It was the goddamned pizza.”
Food service nightmares
I’ve worked in food service on several occasions during my life, specifically in the college union where the job included cooking scrambled eggs and flipping pancakes, to name a few. The pressures of keeping up the pace while taking precautions to make sure food is properly prepared is the responsibility of everyone that works with food. And that’s where the laws of local health authorities have the most impact. Or not.
Right now the website for the Kane County Health Department that oversees laws governing food and other safety issues is dominated by information about the Covid-19 pandemic. The reports it shares are both helpful and daunting. It sure makes you appreciate the food precautions being taken at everything from restaurants to local grocery stores. Those gloves and masks worn by food service employees are critical to protection of public health.
Because food poisoning really can get bad enough to kill you. But it’s also not the only thing we’re concerned about right now. Preventing the spread of Coronavirus infection is vital to public health and safety. Despite that reality, there are selfish dweebs on Twitter right now boasting that they’re never going to wear a mask because it infringes upon their personal freedom. That is ignorant, naive and irresponsible. But that’s the mentality of people accustomed to selfish denial of reality.
The poison menu of denial
This pandemic is far worse than it should be, you see. From the outset, the United States was served up a menu of denial and indifference from the President. That led to two months of delay in our country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yet Trump’s supporters love to claim that he did all he could to respond to this public health crisis. But that’s a poison lie. In fact the real pandemic in this country is the dialogue being served up in support of a man who doesn’t give a damn who gets sick and dies as long as he’s allowed to claim victory and get re-elected for his own sake. Clear evidence of that indifference is the waiver Trump requires attendees at his own rallies to sign so that he can’t be held responsible if they take ill and die.
This is the actual language posted on the registration site for Trump rallies:
By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.
That’s a big Fuck You and Tought Luck If You Die to his own supporters. So you can imagine how Trump regards the rest of us, the majority in this country placed at risk by his own Fuck You attitudes.
It’s like Trump is serving everyone hamburgers green with decay and his supporters are gobbling them up as if they were food from the gods. Meanwhile nearly 120,000 Americans have died since Trump declared the whole thing a “hoax” that would “disappear” like a “miracle” because he waved his tiny hands and declared it so.
If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you’ll know that it’s not a hoax. If you’ve been sick with worry during this pandemic, or had this illness or even lost someone you know to Covid-19, you know that it isn’t Fake News.
But this pandemic is also far from over, health experts predict. The worst part of that reality is the Poison President still has control of this country and is encouraging people to flaunt the laws prescribed to protect us all. As a result, even more people will get sick. More people will die. The really sick part is that the President of the United States does not give a damn who lives and dies as long as his deluded base of supporters somehow vote him back into power. His religious backers claim that God is on his side. That makes God a vicious, mendacious brute who loves some people more than others because they simply want their way.
Report Trump at IWasPoisoned.com
Every single person infected (or affected) by Covid-19 should report Donald Trump on Iwaspoisoned.com. In fact the whole country should call in sick and report the President for not wearing a mask in public. For not trusting the warnings of his own health inspectors and pandemic experts. For refusing to act when he could, then blaming everyone from China to the Democrats for his own failure in responsibilities. The poison Whopper that Trump served the United States was that Covid-19 was all a lie. It’s enough to make you puke.
This is what I wrote on IWasPoisoned.com. You can do it too.
“Every time I sit down to eat in America right now, I feel sick at the thought that our nation was poisoned with Coronavirus and Covid-19 due to the delay of action by the President of the United States of America in taking proper precautions to prevent the spread of this disease. He refuses to wear a mask in public. He is holding rallies while requiring his attendees to sign a waiver excusing him from responsibility if they get sick. This is poisoning to our nation.”
I Was Poisoned should hear from all of us.
Note: This is the public information posted on IWasPoisoned.com to educate people on the dangers of food poisoning:
What is food poisoning and how you can get it
Food poisoning is common, costly and preventable. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food every year.
It can happen after food has been adulterated with physical, chemical and biological contaminants — or any combination of those. Physical can include such products as rubber or glass; chemical can include such toxins as bleach and mercury; and biological can include many types of bacteria, viruses or parasites.
Food can be contaminated before it reaches a grocery store or home kitchen, and sometimes those who prepare food at a restaurant can pass along norovirus – the germ that is the leading cause of foodborne disease outbreaks worldwide.