Generally, I have a strong constitution when it comes to food and drink. See, I have been in countries where the laws and conditions of food preparation and storage is very much a "free for all,".
Before I tell you of my recent bout of food poisoning there was one time in a little city in the Yucatan where a bowl of fruit that I ordered at a café really made me very sick. Live and learn.
Well anyway a while back at this retail place I was working at, to show his appreciation, my boss who is a pretty-nice guy treated to me and my fellow employees to a BBQ dinner.
During the day, two people, a husband and wife came to the store and started bringing in food. The meat foods consisted of sausage, smoked-chicken and brisket. The vegetable dishes consisted of baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad. They as also had some rolls which were pretty good.
I didn't eat the brisket because it looked rather desiccated. So, then I decided I would have the sliced sausage instead. After eating a couple of slices of the sausage I found that it was bland and had no spice to it which was a first for me. Next, I decided that if I just put some BBQ sauce on the sausage that would pep it up, but it didn't. The sauce was runny and tasted like some had taken some good BBQ sauce and mixed it with a great deal of ketchup. In short, the BBQ sauce didn't have any bite to it.
I'm not much of a coleslaw person and I don't like baked beans because they are too sweet for me, I'm more of a pinto bean with onions type of guy. So, I decided to try the potato salad and smoked chicken. The chicken (without the BBQ sauce) was pretty good, but as for the potato salad well, that's another matter.
After about two bites of the potato salad, I detected with my nose that it had really, really gone off. In retrospect I knew that by the first bite it was very past its date of consumption, but like all of us sometimes I chose the road of denial.
When one of my fellow employees saw the sour look on my face, out of concern they came up to me and ask me what was wrong. I then told this fellow employee that the potato salad was off and that I was going to tell the guy that owned this catering company about the dangerous food. In an emphatic manner this fellow coworker told me that our boss and the man who owned the catering company were very good friends. The fellow employee told me not to go up to the owner of the catering company for he was not a very nice man and would go ballistic if I made my concern about the potato salad known.
Having a hard time believing what my fellow employee had just told me about this individual, I decided to get a feel for this person who owned the catering company. So, with a nice smile I went up to him and said:
"Hi, my name is --------. How are you?"
The owner who is a corpulent old man, without a smile or barely any eye contact replied, "I'm okay."
I then said, "That is a cool handle bar moustache you have."
Once again, with no smile or barely any eye contact he replied, "Yeah, okay."
With another smile I then asked, "So, how long have you been in business?"
Again, with barely any eye contact or a smile, (which is a kryptonite in the world of business), he said with a slight sneer, "For a while."
When I then said that it had been a pleasure to meet him. He then turned his back on me without saying any polite departing words like a normal person would do.
Hours later, I started to feel some of the symptoms of food poisoning.
I had a great pain in my abdominal area and a fever.
I had chills, I was sweating a lot and I was very weak.
To prevent myself from having to endure this ordeal I went to the toilet got down on my knees, stuck my finger to the back of my throat and quickly I induced vomiting. Next, I took about three pills of a wide-spectrum of antibiotics I had in my medicine cabinet. I then drank a clear soda and sat down on the sofa in my living room and rode out the horrible tribulations of my food poisoning. Twelve hours later I went to bed and slept for a several hours. Two days later my body started to feel normal again.
From my early years working as a waiter in two different restaurants, I learned a great deal about the safe preparation of food and the proper storage of food. That's because the health department of the city of Mesquite, Texas made us take a class for it, which was a darn good idea.
I learned from these smart people that foods that require refrigeration should be stored no higher than forty-one degrees. The potato salad I ate felt like it had a temperature of about 60 to 62 degrees. The temperature range between about 43 to about 135 degrees is very dangerous.
My advice to you if you chose to you use this catering company is to stick to the smoked chicken and rolls.
Lastly, there are so many catering companies that have a similar name to the one I'm talking about. So, to help out, the one I am talking about is found at a residential Garland address.