last week's TV news (aka don't eat that)

well, it was actually A Current Affair I heard this on.
An article on being aware of food poisoning from fast food outlets. 

They run these stories a few times a year, inspectors going around with thermometers finding places where hot chicken is 19 degrees instead of the recommended over 60, sushi is 16 degrees instead of the recommended under 5 degrees, that sort of thing.

Featured within the story was an interview with a woman who had eaten something and spent nine days in hospital severely ill. 
It happens...but here's the part that stunned me.

She told the interviewer she'd noticed (tasted?) something wrong with the first bite, but continued eating at least half of her kebab before ditching the rest in the bin.

Something seems off and you keep eating??

Wouldn't you spit out that first off mouthful and take the kebab back to the vendor?
Inform him the meat is off?  (or something else in the kebab isn't right)

If something doesn't taste wrong, then continuing to eat is more excusable, but knowingly eating something that your mouth tells you is bad is inexcusable.
If the woman is reading this, then I'm sorry, but that's my opinion. If it tastes wrong, don't eat it. 

My own sense of taste and smell is quite sensitive. I don't know how many* times I detected "off" items coming through my checkout and warned the customer, who then did not purchase that item.

Most common? Those pre-packed bags of potatoes with one in the middle gone bad.
Next? Bags of oranges with one mouldy one, I can smell that from a couple of metres away.
An occasional package of mince, or some deli meat, but those were rare. 

*(not all that often considering I worked there 10 years, don't get panicky and start boycotting stores)

So here's a tip. If you bite into something and it's a little....not quite right....don't eat it. Take it back. If you are home already, phone in, the vendor needs to know.
Not only are you saving yourself, you are also saving others who would have purchased that item.
By taking it back, the vendor knows to remove that item from sale, so he is then saving others health and incidentally keeping himself from getting sued....thus saving his business.


  1. good solid advice

  2. Even for home left overs, the same applies. If it doesn't look, smell or taste right, don't eat it. For people who have all their senses, we aren't a bad judge of whether we should eat something or not, salmonella not withstanding.

  3. What you say is so important, River... if it's not 'right' don't eat it...or buy it. I have often brought problem stock to the attention of staff in supermarkets.They are pleased to remove the items and avoid a problem.
    Hugs and blessings...
    Barb xxx

  4. Hi River,

    I totally agree with that!

    What was she thinking?

    I've been known to take BEER back if it tastes funny.

    If the complain, ask them to taste it too!




  5. Absolutely River, good sound advice and all I can say about that woman is 1. obviously she is not fussy and 2. she must have been starving!

  6. Delores; certainly advice that I follow.

    Andrew; yes, leftovers also need to be carefully stored and checked, anything from fast food places shouldn't be kept at all, and anything you cooked yourself shouldn't be reheated more than once and then properly heated through.

    Barbara Neubeck; I've done the same, sometimes phoning through to the relevant department from my checkout. And from home if I've bought something that smelled bad as soon as I opened it. Too many people don't bother and just throw away the item, when informing the vendor is the better option. The stuff needs to be removed from sale.

    Plasman; I nearly fell off my chair in shock when she said that. The silly woman could have died.

    Rose~from OZ; more likely she just didn't want to throw away food she'd paid for, or she thought "meh, it's probably okay". But she was wrong, so wrong and shouldn't have taken that chance.

  7. You're absolutely correct, River.
    It's so important to trust our senses.
    If it doesn't look right, smell right, taste right... it ISN'T right.

  8. Vicki; I'm surprised that more people don't recognise a bad taste or smell. Surely they know what something should taste like? Or smell like?

  9. I agree, if it tastes wrong, why continue to eat it? Oh dear...

  10. I totally agree with you. Why keep punishing yourself eating something that you know potentially could have problems down the road? Your nose is like my husband's nose, he can smell things that he asks me if I've smelled them and I'm like "no" but he's got a very good keen of smell, as I imagine you do too.


  11. our sense of smell is highly developed to save us from eating and drinking tainted foods or water. My dogs dont mind me being fussy because their stomachs dont mind tainted foods and they get everything Im not game to eat.

  12. I can't understand that the woman kept on eating, even though she thought it tasted odd.

    I know that with my stepkids here, they don't necessarily smell their food as we automatically do because they are brought up with "use by" dates and trust that instead. I've tried to show them that they CAN use food after the "use by" date if it still smells okay. And that food can be spoiled even before that date depending on how it has been stored/handled/prepared.

    I'm not sure that I have a sensitive nose, but I do know if there is a bad onion in a bag, or a rotting potato. And yes, citrus fruits are a dead giveaway. I hate that smell. I'm also careful to break eggs individually into a small bowl first as I've had more than the occasional bad egg.

    We have a lot of cases here of salmonella poisoning and norovirus from "lunch restaurants" who have a smorgasbord type of arrangement where you just serve yourself from a selection of hot and cold dishes. Just last week there was a widespread outbreak of salmonella in a town south of here caused by a dodgy batch of arugula (rocket). Unfortunately it had been sent to elderly homes, nurseries, childcare centres and schools. So lots of people are now sick. And yesterday I read that a huge supermarket chain is recalling all of its mince meat country wide becuase of salmonella as well. You start to wonder just what is safe to eat.

  13. We seldom buy take-aways but I am always very careful to make sure they taste OK or back they would go rapidly.
    I too am fortunate in having good taste and smell senses. I can even taste at certain times of the year when the cows have been eating weeds that seem to flavour the milk. It makes my coffee taste awful and yet is perfectly fit for human consumption. Phil doesn't notice it as he uses a sweetener but I don't have sugar in coffee.
    I am still trying to come to terms about the woman continuing to eat her food. What a dodo!!! Not a lot of sympathy for her but glad she recovered nevertheless.
    I think you post is a timely warning to everyone so thanks.
    Did I mention there is a book on its way to you. Should be there soon.


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