My inbox was dealt with an unusually stupid press release today, this one touting a website created by Patrick Quade (before you gasp, the actor is William Quade, this guy is a nobody), which “allows for the public to submit their personal experiences on where they received bad food consequently, ending in food poisoning.
According to the website, whenever you experience anything that remotely resembles food poisoning, you can go to their website and blow the whistle! You enter the restaurant name, what you ate, and your symptoms into IWasPoisoned.com (that’s not an inflammatory name), so the whole world will know what they have done to you!
Your symptoms. Oh, that’s gonna be pretty reading.
As a consumer you are able to go online and see what restaurants and outlets are experiencing the most food poisoning or search for your desired destination, a great tool to monitor where you take your self and family to eat, don’t want to get sick just before the holidays!
So what’s wrong with this idea, you ask? Simple – it is very difficult to tell a) if you have food poisoning or some other malady, and b) where you got the bug. Maybe you were just more hung over than you thought. Maybe you got exposed at Taco Bell on Tuesday, and not McDonald’s on Wednesday. Most people don’t realize how long it takes for these things to work their way through your system. Perhaps you are lactose intolerant. Gluten intolerant. There are lots of reasons why people have digestive issues.
Here is an entry from today on their website – “Bought Safeway brand chicken leg quarters, cooked them well, ate some and 5 hours later got severe food poisoning. I think this is the 2nd time.” Really? They could be contaminated in fecal material, and if you “cooked them well”, you wouldn’t get food poisoning. Cross-contamination perhaps? Lick your fingers after handling the chicken? Have them with aunt Nelly’s potato salad after she’d left it in the car for a while? You did this twice, and Safeway hasn’t been closed down? Get a freaking clue! If you allow yourself to get food poisoning twice from something you’ve cooked, it’s Darwin’s Law.
This is a stupid idea!
About the only time you can blame something on food poisoning, is if you go somewhere with a group of friends, all eat the same damn thing, and the next day you find out everyone got sick. Otherwise call the health department if you think you think you were poisoned.
I feel so sorry for people in the restaurant business.
Ross Williams says
Actually its not a stupid idea. It would be stupid to take a single report as gospel, for the reasons you point out. But if a restaurant or grocery store really is a source of food poisoning, there will be multiple reports from people who ate there. The trick is to get enough people to use the site that you can really see that pattern.
So the idea isn’t stupid just because there are stupid people who believe anything they read.
PDX Food Dude says
Naw, it’s stupid. That’s what the health department is for. If people think they’ve been poisoned, the health department will interview them, do medical tests, and correlate the data. A sensationalist site like “I’veBeenPoisoned!!!” isn’t going to do that. It’s gonna be about selling advertising.
Ross Pullen says
It amazes me that people will put time,energy,money and effort into STUPID ideas like this. I just felt I needed to echo what was written by PDX Food Dude .
Good Food For Me says
What Are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning?
I can’t wait to read their descriptions – they are idiots. I hope they keep a log as food poisoning can happen days later. Perhaps they will loose their vision temporarily and not be able to type on the site – then what – maybe they need to record auditory experiences as well. LOL
Generally, food poisoning causes some combination of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may or may not be bloody, sometimes with other symptoms.
After eating tainted food, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, can start as early as one hour in the case of staph and as late as 10 days in the case of campylobacter. It may take even longer to develop symptoms from parasite infections such as Giardia. Symptoms can last from one day up to a couple of months or longer, depending on the type of infection.
Vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, dizziness, tearing in the eyes, excessive salivation, mental confusion, and stomach pain may be symptoms of chemical or toxin food poisoning such as that from poisonous mushrooms.
Partial loss of speech or vision, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle paralysis from the head down through the body, and vomiting may indicate botulism, a severe but very rare type of bacterial food poisoning.
Good Food For Me says
This is a Portlandia show in the making or Saturday Night Live.
patrick quade says
Hi PDX Food Dude,
Thanks for your feedback. I couldn’t possibly have replied any better than Ross Williams did above on my behalf (thanks Ross) – so i won’t try. However I do just want to say that I do have good intentions. Reducing food poisoning is a good goal, I may not achieve it, but I will try.
If you would like I”m happy to post a link back to this post on the site. I welcome constructive criticism.