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I think my husband was poisoned!


pax
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We grabbed a quick lunch at a hole-in-the-wall joint in Leesburg, VA on Saturday afternoon about 2 pm.

My husband had a roasted chicken sandwich, which he said was ok. He also shared the chip and salsa that came to the table with my daughter and I. My daughter and I then split a queso papusa.

We all ate the same things, which I cooked, for about two days before.

My husband woke up on Sunday morning and was sicker than a dog. It was not pretty. Ran a fever. Couldn't keep anything down until last night, and that was just chicken broth. I got more veggie broth and some dry toast into him about an hour ago and he's doing better.

This guy usually has the constitution of an ox. And in the 7 years I've known him, he's never taken to his bed, so, I'm kind of wowed.

I feel like I should call the restaurant and tell them. I don't want a thing from them, except for them to know what happened. It would be nice if it didn't devolve into anything uncivil.

Is this a good thing to do? Bad? If you were a small greasey grill, would you even care?

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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Sounds like salmonella from the timing of onset of symptoms (6 to 72 hours).

If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, with no relief with palliatives, he should see a doctor.

Dehydration is a problem, keeping hydrated is more important than anything, and it is especially important to keep the electrolyte balance. Pedialyte is actually better than the adult sports drinks.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Call the health dept. Seriously.

Too much of this stuff gets missed. What if your husband was a cancer patient, or an old guy with shakey kidneys? The story might well have turned out differently.

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There have been a lot of bugs going around that are not necessarily from food poisoning. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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A friendly note from your forum host:

As the good Doctor Sconzo said, one should be cautious in diagnosis. Additionally, one should be be extremely cautious in publicly identifying a restaurant suspected of malfeasance in a public forum, both because it is unfair and because (in this case) it is against the Member Agreement. I'm a DC local so I know that the byways in the greater Leesburg area are filled with local Salvadoran joints, so I'm going to leave the topic up. And, as long as we stick to the hypothetical "how to deal" aspect, it's a valuable topic. If we start playing who's who, however I'll have to take it down.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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There have been a lot of bugs going around that are not necessarily from food poisoning. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.

Listen to the Doc. Often people conclude that they are suffering from food poisoning when they are suffering from the flu. Just make sure that your husband remains rested and hydrated.

"Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much, but all ladies think that they weigh too much."

From a poem by Ogden Nash - Curl Up and Diet

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Can I just add to what everyone else has said, and say that it is imperative your husband visits a Doctor and has the appropriate ' samples' taken so that a proper diagnosis is arrived at.

If it is food poisoning and the roast chicken appears to be the culprit after eliminating the other suspects, then I would definitely be in touch with the restaurant. I have a catering company and although it would be unpleasant, would much prefer to know if any of our food has been mishandled by staff.

A year or so ago we had a couple who became violently ill after eating our food at the Hotel. They accused my business of poisoning them and they would not accept our stand that they had both eaten different meals. It was later discovered they had caught Norovirus the day before arriving in our city. It was so bad, the housemaid who cleaned their room contracted it a day later!

We never received an apology from them either. :angry:

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About 9 months ago, I went to bed feeling just fine after visiting a local buffet (yes, yes, I should know better). Woke up at 2 am with the uncontrollable urge to vomit in the nearest receptacle. I was 100% convinced I had food poisoning until everyone around me started getting the exact same symptoms that I had about two days later. Whatever I had (and trust me, there were points I prayed for death) was definitely not food poisoning.

I just had to continuously hydrate and pray that it would pass soon (it took about 5 days for things to get back to quasi-normal).

I hope I am never that ill again, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

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As has been said before - it is important for both the health department and restaurant to know - presenting it fairly so as to not jump to conclusions, because if there are multiple cases of this happening, then both parties need to know so they can respond appropriately.

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I'm inclined to agree with Rob. After all, a clean restaurant shouldn't have anything to fear from the health department. Although I'm very naive when it comes to these matters-- is a visit from them an instant death sentence for any restaurant?

Mark

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Although I'm very naive when it comes to these matters-- is a visit from them an instant death sentence for any restaurant?

Not a visit, no. All restaurants are visited by health inspectors, several times a year.

It's the findings that can make the visit a death sentence.

Just one incident like this would probably not even shut down the restaurant.

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There have been a lot of bugs going around that are not necessarily from food poisoning. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.

Listen to the Doc. Often people conclude that they are suffering from food poisoning when they are suffering from the flu. Just make sure that your husband remains rested and hydrated.

Listen to this doc. Public health only works when diseases are reported. Of course there could be other causes of his sickness. Let the pros decide if they get a lot of reports from one place. Otherwise it stays hidden until there is a big problem later.

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There have been a lot of bugs going around that are not necessarily from food poisoning. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions.

Listen to the Doc. Often people conclude that they are suffering from food poisoning when they are suffering from the flu. Just make sure that your husband remains rested and hydrated.

Listen to this doc. Public health only works when diseases are reported. Of course there could be other causes of his sickness. Let the pros decide if they get a lot of reports from one place. Otherwise it stays hidden until there is a big problem later.

By all means, if one really thinks that one contracted food poisoning someplace, it should be reported, however, the discussion above was very quick to conclude that the illness was due to food poisoning from the restaurant, when in fact the illness is likely from any number of sources other than the restaurant. If it turns out to be an isolated case, then one can likely conclude that the problem did not come from food poisoning from this restaurant. OTOH, if others report the same response and all had the same chicken for example, then the likelihood is much greater that the chicken in that particular restaurant is the source. My point was simply not to condemn that or any place based on such limited information. An accusation of food poisoning at a restaurant is quite serious. Raise the flag, but only by mentioning the co-incidental events and not drawing a conclusion one way or another without all the facts.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Listen to this doc.  Public health only works when diseases are reported.  Of course there could be other causes of his sickness.  Let the pros decide if they get a lot of reports from one place.  Otherwise it stays hidden until there is a big problem later.

Are you a physician or an epidemiologist?

Edited by mojoman (log)
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About 9 months ago, I went to bed feeling just fine after visiting a local buffet (yes, yes, I should know better). Woke up at 2 am with the uncontrollable urge to vomit in the nearest receptacle. I was 100% convinced I had food poisoning until everyone around me started getting the exact same symptoms that I had about two days later. Whatever I had (and trust me, there were points I prayed for death) was definitely not food poisoning.

I just had to continuously hydrate and pray that it would pass soon (it took about 5 days for things to get back to quasi-normal).

I hope I am never that ill again, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

I have the same exact story from Jan 2007 in Little Havana, Miami. I was 100% sure that a very well-known Cuban diner had poisoned me (the timing made perfect sense, and the symptoms were harsh and unpleasant). To sum, it was hellish. And then my wife got the same thing the next day without having had any contact with the food in question, and though praying for death, I was glad I hadn't called the restaurant or anybody else to complain...

Edited by markemorse (log)
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I'm sorry, I just have time for a couple of quick notes..

I edited my op to take out the ethnicity of the restaurant, lest it be construed as a slur. It was not intended as such.

Thank you all for your hints on helping him feel better. The Pedialyte was an improvement of the sports drink, certainly, so thank you. I'm going to see if I can find activated charcoal, I've never even heard of using it.

You are all right, of course, that I am not sure this meal is what caused the problem.However, I have not developed an issue and neither have either of my daughters or my farm manager, with whom I work cheek by jowl. I am not all that well and usually if anyone catches anything, I get it too. So far I'm ok. *knocks on wood*

He is still having a problem retaining fluids for any length of time. I am driving him down to Kaiser today to see his doctor. I don't know what they will do or test for.

Please understand I was not really looking to start a witch hunt or a health dept. issue. I really just wanted to know if it was worth mentioning it to the restaurant or whether or not I would just be blown off. I didn't want anything from them.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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If this happened to me, I'd go to the doctor and try to have them help me ascertain what caused my illness before talking to the restaurateur--and when I talked to the restaurant I'd bring a copy of my test results.

FWIW, I just suffered a 24-hour stomach bug complete with vomiting and diarrhea, and I didn't eat out recently. My son had it too. This is definitely going around our geographic region right now.

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I saw an article on the web about the UK experiencing a 60% increase in the Norovirus last year. As I understand it, the virus sickens you for 24 hours or so. I would not be suprised if it happened here.

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Listen to this doc.  Public health only works when diseases are reported.  Of course there could be other causes of his sickness.  Let the pros decide if they get a lot of reports from one place.  Otherwise it stays hidden until there is a big problem later.

Are you a physician or an epidemiologist?

MD,PhD

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My husband tested positive for salmonella. Given that, and in light of the comments made here about public health safety, I opted to ring the Health Dept and let them decide what to do with it.

Thank you all for your thoughts and tips.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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