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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Allergic To Raw Poultry

This week I had food poisoning. It is interesting how many small parallels there are between food poisoning and food allergy.

On Sunday I came down with a severe fever. It was out of nowhere and for almost 2 days I had a fever of 103 and could barely open my eyes due to the headaches. I recognized the symptoms as food poisoning based on prior experience.

It was surprisingly easy to locate the likely source of the food poisoning. Based on a review of a Canadian Food Inspection Agency site I isolated the likely culprit: campylobacter. This is a bacteria related illness that typically comes from raw poultry. The symptoms were exactly aligned with what I experienced.

The only thing I ate that my wife did not eat all weekend was a BBQ burger at an outdoor block party. I do recall that the young man working the grill had ground chicken burgers on one grill and burgers on the other. My guess is that he had two grills with one set of tongs.

Though this is not even close in severity to a lifelong food allergy, one interesting parallel will be the close attention I pay in future to how the block party burgers are being flipped. There will be an element of fear, even if small, and that is something that the food allergic are forced to deal with at every meal. In addition, similar to an allergy the serious reaction is attributed to a microscopic irritant whose source cannot be identified with 100% accuracy.

I am feeling much better on Day 5 of my ordeal but I am not out of the woods yet. It has been interesting to see the allergy parallels this time around.

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