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Posted on | August 7, 2009 | 5 Comments

I have finally recovered from a really, really bad case of salmonella food poisioning. I can truthfully say, the experience was by far the worst experience of my life.

I had lunch with my wife in what seemed to be a very nice Italian restaraunt. I had a steak with some kind of mushroom cream sauce (it was delicious). I ordered the steak cooked medium, which (to me) says “just a little pink in the middle.” Unfortunately, the sauce masked the fact that the chef had cooked the steak just a notch above rare, by the time I realized this I had already eaten half way through the middle. Within 24 hours of having lunch, I woke up heaving while my intestines demonstrated an ability to tie themselves in knots that would rival a boy scout. I literally visited the bathroom once every fifteen minutes for 48 hours. The abdominal pain was so acute, so severe that I can’t compare it to anything else that I’ve endured.

Finally, on the third day, I was able to keep down some Loperamide long enough for it to take effect. After noticing a slight fever, I went on a 10 day regement of Amoxicillian, I did not want that nasty organism making a home in my blood stream.

All in all, it took about a week for me to fully recover. As a result, I have abandoned my fondness for beef cooked any other way than VERY well done. Sure, I have eaten thousands of steaks in my life and only one has made me sick .. my logical mind tells me that the risks are very low. However, the rest of me would rather swallow marbles than deal with salmonella again, doing so would be less painful.

If I owe you work, rest assured, I’m back on it.


5 Responses to “Salmonella”

  1. Dusty Wilson
    August 7th, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    I’m happy to hear that you’re back in the land of the living. I don’t envy your experience at all. Hopefully you’ll catch up with your work without burning yourself out in the process. I wish you the best of luck and good health going forward.

    I enjoy my steaks cooked medium rare, but I tend to get them medium well instead. Can’t I have both medium rare steaks and my health? grumble

  2. tinkertim
    August 7th, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

    @Dusty Thanks for the good wishes. Its amazing how missing a week is like missing a month. Right now, something in me just can’t stand the thought of rare meat .. probably just because of my recent bout. Though, I was looking to reduce the amount of meat that I ate .. so in a way this helped.

    In a few months, the memory of this will have faded and I’ll probably go back to eating medium rare steaks again, just less of them. Really, out of the thousands of steaks I’ve eaten across 4 countries, this is the first time I’ve ever been seriously ill. I guess the risk just seems higher now due to a clear recollection of just how much salmonella hurts :)

  3. mithra
    August 8th, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

    Hi Tim, I sent an email to you before knew this. OMG, Italian Restaurant…sorry from Italy :) I hope you’re right now. Ciao

  4. Dusty Wilson
    August 9th, 2009 @ 7:26 am

    When it comes to eating in a restaurant, I don’t trust them and go for the medium well. When I used to cook them myself at home, I’d go medium rare. I don’t know why I’d trust my meat more than their meat. It’s probably just perception alone. Oh and the idea that maybe I have control over the meat in some way that prevents sickness. I guess in a way I do, if I prevent cross-contamination with chickens and such. Meh. I’m hungry.

  5. tinkertim
    August 9th, 2009 @ 10:09 am


    I read that Salmonella can stay alive outside of a host for years .. so its entirely possible that my steak picked it up just by coming in contact with my table knife .. who knows. I’ve thought about it and decided that this is the perfect opportunity to start paying more attention to what I put in my body.

    I’m eating more fish, salad and pasta now (a long overdue change of diet from half a dead cow per month). Pork is going to be a once / twice a month treat and I’m limiting my beef to fully cooked burgers, maybe even a cheese steak sub or two. I’ve never been a real chicken fan unless its fried and crispy.

    I carry a small bottle of alcohol with me anyway, we need it because our daughter touches everything in sight when we’re out. So, I’m going to start sterrilizing the silverware when we eat out. Maybe the experience has left me a little overly paranoid.

    I’m sure going to miss those steaks though.

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