What gives? When I was a kid, you got salmonella from one place, and one place only: Poultry. Eating undercooked chicken, drinking absurd macho Rocky-style glasses of raw eggs for breakfast, and all that other stupid shit people to to train for a movie boxing match. And that makes sense! Salmonella, as discovered in 1900, is mostly caused by salmonella enterica, which is found in chickens. Ta-da! Case closed. Everybody goes home happy.
In fact, basically the only way you could get sick from food was eating undercooked animal products. Pork had trichinosis, but not super-often. Ground beef ran a decent risk of e. coli, but regular beef was still pretty safe to eat rare. Eating squirrel brains led to mental disorders, but only in Eastern Kentucky. (Read that link and defend the following position: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”) (That should actually be the title of this post.)
And this is fine for me, because I don’t do my own fight scenes, and I’m smart enough to cook my chicken all the way through. Therefore I shouldn”t have to worry about getting the salmonill’ (say it like “the rheumatis’ “). But apparently, 2008 will go down on the record books as not only the Year of the Earth Rat, but also as the year of surprise! EVERYTHING CAN GIVE YOU SALMONELLA.
This, friends, is unacceptable. And so is this next thing.
This short guy is clearly worried for Hollywood Hulk’s health and safety.
(aren’t you glad I put that before the jump?)
But no! And it sucks, because as someone who enjoys a variety of canned vegetables, I feel like exposing myself to the possibility of botulism is a much lower reward / risk ratio than I’m comfortable with anyway.
According to Wikipedia (my most often-cited source), 2008 gave us salmonella from the following:
- Chicken, naturally.
- Tomatoes (grape, plum and roma)
- Serrano Peppers
- Jalapeño Peppers (though not those grown in the US!)
- and possibly, Cilantro.
Now, another previously delicious food, “King Nut” peanut butter, has thrown it’s hat into the “metaphorically shanking your unsuspecting ass” ring. (King Nut isn’t like King crab, by the way. It’s just a brand name.) It’s hard to even contrive in my mind a way other than cross-contamination that you could find peanut and chicken processing in the same facility, except at maybe the Pad Thai factory. What’s even worse is that this isn’t even the first time this has happened with peanut butter in the last few years.
E. Coli isn’t safe anymore, either. A recent check over at kidshealth.org (my second-most referenced source) says that your good buddy spinach gave kids a healthy dose of it back in October 2006. In this author’s opinion, 2 years from now, we’re likely to be getting cancer from cantelopes and AIDS from shrimp at this rate.
In the future, butter gives you a raging case of athlete’s foot.
On a side note, I really hope when science finally finds a cure for AIDS, it’s in the form of garlic butter dipping sauce. Whether or not the whole AIDS-in-seafood soothsaying works out.
Honestly, I hope everything gets back to normal soon, because I’m tired of walking around on eggshells and worrying that they’re going to give me foot rot.