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Mar 16, 2011 07:37 AM

Do You Fear Making Your Guests Ill?

Just wondering if I'm the only one who worries before I host a holiday dinner if somehow everyone is going to get food poisoning. It has never happened and I'm really careful with refrigeration, etc. But I always feel a little fearful that everyone is going to get sick. (Wow, as I'm writing this I'm realizing that it sounds kind of nuts.) Maybe its because I'm married to a Gastroenterologist, but maybe I'm not the only one?

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  1. Depends what you mean. It's a scary idea to sicken people, so I am very vigilant in taking precautions. But I guess I trust the precautions enough that, when the dinner comes, I'm not at all worried.

    Do you feel anxious during the event, and even when you're confident that you dotted your i's and crossed your t's?

    Whatever you're feeling, you can bet you're not alone. All kinds of people out here!

    1. Funny you should mention that. I worry when I cook pork medium rare. I know it's fine and have never had a problem but my family so deeply ingrained that pork needs to be like shoe leather to be safe that it still kinda picks at the back of my mind.


      1 Reply
      1. re: shrimp13

        My mother did that to turkey! I never knew that turkey could be moist until I was about 30. I'm fine when people are here, but I think about it in the weeks leading up to the event. I just can't imagine how awful it would be to make your family and friends ill from your cooking.

      2. I can honestly say that I do not fear making anyone I cook for sick. I abide by basic rules of food safety, but I am not not overly vigilant. For example, I cook meat to temperature doneness below the FDA guidelines - pork to 140-145, turkey to 160, ground beef to 125.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MGZ

          Just did a turkey breast to 160-165-ish (obviously not a digital thermometer), and the center meat and bone was pink. So, I'd still shoot for upper 160s/170 next time.

          1. re: pine time

            I appreciate your concern, but I am afraid you might be slightly missing my point. Turkey set to rest at 160 has the juiciness we enjoy - a tinge of pink is ok. I'll cook 8 or 9 of them a year. In fairness, though, we are lucky enough to have a local farm that raises free range birds we buy fresh.

          1. re: beevod

            Good point. My infused liquors and "Here, try this" approach to cocktails is much more likely to cause problems.

          2. I don't worry about anyone getting ill - but the guest who got a fish bone stuck in her throat put a bit of a dampener on the evening. She had to go to A & E to have it removed and, as we'd all been drinking, we had to phone a family member to come and drive her to the hospital. That was 25 years back - I don't think she's been back for dinner.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Harters

              So the worst day was had by the fish....