Friday, November 21, 2008

botulism: worse than nablopomo bloating

If I should not be here to write my daily NaBloPoMo post tomorrow, it may be because I have succumbed to botulism and am ventilated in ICU.

It is more than likely I won't have botulism, but tonight, when I was cooking up some garlic, onion, zucchini and organic tinned tomatoes to accompany the black eyed pea and quinoa patties, I opened the tin of tomatoes and they smelled strange. More than that, in the tin was a piece of blackened tomato, like it had a worm or rotten bit. By that stage I had already tipped the tomatoes into the saucepan with the afore mentioned vegetables, and I didn't want to waste them. So I kept stirring and hoping all would be OK. However, the strange smell kept emanating from the saucepan. I dipped a finger in to see if the whole thing tasted strange. It didn't, but when I googled botulism I was shocked to discover as little as 1 microgram may be lethal to humans. How many micrograms are in a lick of the finger? More than one I imagine!

I stopped licking my fingers, stopped cooking the tomato and phoned the company and left a message describing the tin contents. I then carefully wrapped the unwashed tin, its lid and the piece of offending tomato in a plastic bag.

And so now I wait. For a phone call from the company. To see if I develop a dry mouth, vomiting (half a tick - nauesous, but not pregnant, before you jump to any conclusions), drooping eyelids (tick - I could do with going to bed earlier) and difficult breathing.

I suspect I'll be OK. And I'm not naming the company because this is what happened to the last company named and shamed for botulism. I will however let you know if I am awarded thousands of dollars. Ha.

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At 7:45 am, November 22, 2008, Blogger Robyn said...

Please tell me that irrespective of a call back from the company that you didn't eat the vegies. Please??! I recall you using some other dubious pantry items to reduce waste! ;) Hope all is well

At 5:32 pm, November 22, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

I'm going to be here bright and early tomorrow to see if you've posted - then I'll know you're not dead.


Oh, now I'm worried....be well, Cecily!


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