Tiffin Tuesday - Recovery lunch

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Posted by jokergirl@wererabbits

Hello again!

I'm back from travelling across Europe just in time for another Bento at Tiffin Tuesday. Although it almost would not have been - I was not so sure that I would ever want to eat anything again after a nasty food poisoning in Italy last week!
Therefore, and as my contribution to the Safety & Care event on The Daily Tiffin this month, my bento is a get well soon bento - food poisoning aftercare and info included!

A light meal of rice, breaded yellow zucchini and breadcrumb patties with avocado paste to help my stomach recover and regain stability.
Since I usually avoid deep-fried food to begin with, and twice so with a sensitive stomach, the breading on those zucchini is oven baked! The recipe for this is really simple and works for many other vegetables as well, i.e. eggplant.
Cut the vegetables into about 1cm thick slices, salt on both sides and let them draw water on kitchen paper for 15-30 minutes. Then dry them, brush off excess salt and roll lightly in flour, then whisked egg with a dash of milk and finally the breadcrumbs, just like breading meat. Lay them out on a non-stick oven pan lightly brushed with olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven until they are cooked and the breading is light brown all over. If they have drawn enough, the vegetables will not shed water anymore and breading will get crisp and nice on both sides!

As dessert there are mango pieces, frozen to act as ice pack thanks to Biggie's suggestion!

I must stress that it was not my bentos that made me sick! In fact, I read Biggie's wonderful article a while ago and took it to heart. Rather, it was my inability to make bento while working abroad and having to rely on cantina food that got me.
So since you can't ever be completely safe - what to do if food poisoning does strike?

Most so-called food poisonings are not caused by the food itself, but by contaminations introduced by bad hygiene. Wrong temperatures, dirty environments and sick handlers are the main cause of such infections. The poisonous substances are created by bacteria, virii or other microbes introduced in that way. Much rarer are cases of toxins in the food itself, i.e. bad mushrooms or cleaning agents.
Luckily for us (though anyone stricken may not think so at the moment), our body has a good system for getting rid of the poison: to get rid of the contents of stomach and bowels as quickly as possible. The symptoms are well known - nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that comes on suddenly. Not comfortable, but effective! In most cases, that will be enough to purge the body and allow a fast recovery within the next days. Most cases of food poisoning don't require any medication.

So if you (or somebody in your care) is the unlucky one,
  • Don't Panic! It's embarrassing, uncomfortable and annoying, but most cases are over in 24-48 hours. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that it will be over soon. If you feel there is an emergency or that something else may be wrong, go to a doctor - read about signs of emergency below.
  • Drink lots of water, ideally still mineral water or very diluted syrup/electrolytic sports drinks as that contains some of the electrolytes you also lose. Dehydration is one of the big dangers of food poisoning, especially to children! Even if you think you can't keep it down, it will help flush out your stomach.
  • Don't eat or drink any caffeinated, sugary or sour substances. Those irritate your bowels and impair the stomach's self-healing abilities.
  • Stay at home if you can, and give your body time to recover. Try to lie down. Get someone to check up on you periodically or in case you need to go to a doctor.
  • Start eating again slowly after the nausea has stopped. Continue to drink lots of fluid.
    Don't force yourself to eat if you are still feeling nauseous. It won't help.
    Also, don't attempt to go back to your normal eating habits too quickly - eat as much as your stomach tells you it can tolerate, not as much as you think you should eat.
    Start with bland and safe foods (biscuits, day-old bread, water) to reboot your stomach. Safe vegetables are e.g. cooked squash and root vegetables. Avoid spicy/fat/sour food, food that is a contamination risk to begin with (chicken soup anyone?) or anything that may cause allergies. Avoid sugar, coffee and carbonated drinks for a while.
  • Go to a doctor if you think there is an emergency.

Signs of emergency

  • You find blood or a coffee-ground like substance in the vomit.
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea that goes on for longer than 48 hours, or more than half a day in a kid. Kids under 3 years should always be checked out by a doctor!
  • Fever, vision or motoric problems or loss of conscience.
  • Strong pain that does not go away.
  • More than one person has the same symptoms ("outbreak")
  • Risk of dehydration (you can't keep any liquid down)
  • Jaundice (Skin or eyes turn yellow)
  • You need a medicine but can't keep it down.

I hope you will never get in the situation at all, but if you do, this article may help or at least comfort you. And if so, get well soon!

Sources and additional information:
1) eMedicineHealth article on Food Poisoning: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/food_poisoning/article_em.htm
2) Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_poisoning

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This Post was written by jokergirl from Wererabbits.


JG, The bout of food poisoning was really unlucky and how ironic that it should happen when you decided not to take your bento. Thanks for the informative post.
I love the recipe for the baked vegies - can hardly wait to try it out myself. If I know Gilly she too will love this!! LOL!

Meeta K. Wolff said...
May 15, 2007 at 10:01:00 PM GMT+2  

The bento lunch box in your DT site is awesome. I want to experiment my ideas with Bento - but dont knwo where to buy this kind of lunch box. Please let me know where I can shop for bento boxes of the size shown in this picture

Nissidhi said...
May 16, 2007 at 9:01:00 PM GMT+2  

I don't know where you live, but there are several on-line stores that you can look at.
JBox.com has a selection, and on ebay there are several sellers specializing in Japanese imports. Look at http://cookingcute.com/linksandresources.htm for a list of trustworthy sellers.

May 16, 2007 at 10:32:00 PM GMT+2  

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