Dining with family or friends should always be a happy, healthy, and safe experience. But the joy of dining out, takes on a very serious side when one encounters a case of food poisoning. In my personal case, my daughter and I went to a favorite Japanese restaurant for good food and relaxation. We had decided to order uncooked sushi rolls, which at the time just seemed to be what we considered a “bit off.” With my order of a spicy sushi roll, I had sensed a slight odor of mold, which at the time, I dismissed. My daughter with her order sensed the fish did not taste quite right, and she had dismissed it as well. However, within twelve hours of returning home, we both experienced intense food poisoning. (Please note that the Japanese restaurant was in “name only” and did not have traditional Japanese Sushi chefs or servers at this location. Never had a problem with any Japanese restaurant that was true in tradition, quality of food and service.)
With the food poisoning from our sushi dishes, we both experienced suffering with intense flu-like symptoms. My daughter, although ill, still went to her work and came back exhausted and weak. For the next twenty-four hours, we suffered through our temporary sickness. As a Catholic mom, I actually offered it up for peace. Yet, I still reflected that it was clearly the raw sushi rolls prepared by the restaurant staff and needed to be addressed when I was well.
With the current economic times, I feel restaurants may have new procedures and shelf lives for food products. Catholic moms need to be more aware with a few essential tips in protecting and preventing their family and/or friends from experiencing the strong effects of food poisoning. In ordering any type of fish product from a restaurant, if it does not look, smell or taste right, DO NOT EAT IT and let your server know. For something like sushi rolls, restaurants will mix a number of ingredients together to hide raw tuna that may not be that fresh. Extra care is needed when ordering sushi rolls that are combined with different ingredients and mayonnaise. Also, in the case of Japanese food, it is far safer to go to that restaurant where the Sushi chefs, kitchen chefs and servers are Japanese. In addition on the food product, discoloration is also a good indicator for raw fish products. Really take the time to examine and smell your order!
Throughout the months, when dining out with families, as I previously mention, I have noted that many restaurants seem to hold onto food products longer and I personally believe this is to increase profits. It is not a big issue with stale rolls, bread, muffins or pastries. However, it is of great concern with fish, poultry and meat. As I mentioned before, take that time to examine. Maybe ask how the chef prepares a particular dish and if it is frozen or fresh. If anything does not look, taste or seem right, let your server or restaurant manager know right away. Never take a risk with food that seems even the slightest bit off. I may be repeating myself a bit here but this is a serious concern. In addition, if you or a family member does experience food poisoning from your local restaurant, be sure to follow-up with either calling, writing or going in person, to let them know of the situation. We must be smart on this and the restaurant clearly needs to know so the same food poisoning does not happen to someone else. Even your most trusted restaurant that you have gone to for many years, can have a serious slip up.
Possibly, my experience will give you the needed knowledge for safe and healthy future dining with your family. It is usually a joy for a Catholic mom to have that break from preparing family dinners to go to a favorite restaurant. Be diligent, wise, discerning always, for the best and safest possible dining experience!
Copyright 2013 Leslie Lenko