Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Sorry to say that I contracted food poisoning from El Nopal on Big Bend at 141 Dec. 30, 2005 and suffered from the intestinal liquification of my entire system. Or so it seemed. I had the most delicious Caldo de Pollo [chicken soup with avacado] and looked forward to returning another day for the same. That is...until about three in the morning when the "buffet germ" went to work. I've had food poisoning at least three times in my life, each time the restaurant was closed the next day and the warning was in the newspaper. Well, the first time, it was of unknown origin in Rolla, MO, and could have been (according the health dept.) from something in my own college student kitchen.

I don't know if after you contract food poisoning once, you are more easily susceptible in the future, but it seems so in my case. No one else dining with me on any of the above occassions ever eats the same dish as me and no one gets sick. I do not have highly discretionary tastes, and have been known to eat things that others would wisely turn down. Alas, it will be a long time before El Nopal is on my list of culinary possibilities. Actually, the whole experience is enought to never eat again....but that won't last long!

No, I did not notify the El Nopal folks or the health department this time. I may still file a report, just to make sure.


Disease: Perfringens food poisoning
Source: "Buffet germ" that grows rapidly in large portions of food that cool slowly. It grows in chafing dishes which may not keep food sufficiently hot and in the refrigerator if food is stored in portions too large to cool quickly.
Symptoms (after eating): Onset: 8-24 hours; diarrhea, gas pains, nausea, and sometimes vomiting lasting only a day. Usually mild, but can be serious in ulcer patients, the elderly, ill, or immune-compromised.
Prevention: Keep food hot (above 140 degrees F) or cold (below 40 degrees F). Divide bulk cooked foods into small portions for serving and cooling. Reheat leftovers to at least 165 degrees F. Take special care with poultry, stew, soup, gravy, and casseroles.


If you are looking to have your house painted or sided, DO NOT spend time talking to Art Deno (St. Louis, MO) unless you have the rest of your life to wait for the job to get done. He's D. & E. Contracting and Deno Painting and the BBB has his number! But when the job is completed--an eternity of time--it is a good job.

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