On Nutrition: Are restaurant salads making me sick? |

Dear Dr. Blonz: Usually, when I eat leafy green salads in restaurants, I have no adverse physical reaction. But a few times, I have eaten this type of salad in restaurants and it caused me severe diarrhea, which strikes within a half-hour after leaving the restaurant. I am usually homebound by this for the next 24 hours, feeling weak and lethargic. This does not happen when I eat other foods or homemade green salad. Can you tell me what chemical the restaurant or food processing companies may be adding? And how can I protect myself from this happening again? — H.K.

Dear H.K.: In addition to the lousy way it makes us feel, it is always a disappointment when eating — an activity meant to provide nourishment and satisfaction — makes us ill. And it can be troublesome to attempt to figure out what might have been responsible. The list of possibilities might include a developing illness, a reaction to one or more medications, a food allergy or sensitivity, or an eating establishment’s sanitation issue.

Food poisoning is on the “suspect” list in the case you describe, especially given that you have not experienced this type of reaction when eating other foods or making salads at home. There is the possibility that something contaminated was included in the meal; this can include the food, salad dressing, condiments, beverage, dishes, silverware or any unclean item or surface you were exposed to while visiting the establishment. (I have assumed your hands were washed.)

It is difficult to identify the responsible element(s) until some theme emerges. Thoughts that added “chemicals” are responsible would not be at the top of my list, unless such events occur regularly. As for greens: Last year, there were several incidences of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce.

Is a particular restaurant more involved than others with these episodes? You may be able to get more information by speaking with friends who frequent that same establishment. Or you could check social media to see if others have had similar experiences — but I advise caution, as critical posts can be baseless comments made by competitors.

Bottom line: With the details provided, it is difficult to point your fork at the salad greens and say they made you sick. With no obvious answer at this time, a shift to “detective mode” will increase the odds for success. That said, I hope that this does not happen again! Write back if you learn more. For more on food safety, see b.link/food22.

(Ed Blonz, Ph.D., is a nutrition scientist and an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the author of the digital book “The Wellness Supermarket Buying Guide” (2012), which is also available as a free digital resource at blonz.com/guide.)

Send questions to: “On Nutrition,” Ed Blonz, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send email inquiries to questions@blonz.com. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.

— to www.tulsaworld.com

Related Articles

Cottage Grove Sentinel | Building a Digital Defense with Health & Fitness App

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week: building a digital defense against apps that might know a little bit more about you than you realize.  We are talking about health apps and fitness trackers. The technology is amazing – it can check your heart rate, count how many steps you take in a day – even evaluate your […]
Read more
Jacqueline Powell, 42, was awarded $551,000 after injuring her back at the New Dimensions Health and Fitness Centre at Leonay in Western Sydney in February 2016

Blonde fitness fan bags $500,000 compensation after lifting heavy weight in gym

Fitness fanatic sues gym for $551,000 after trying to move a 25kg weight that had been left out after ‘tradies hour’ and slipping a disc in her back A Sydney mum won a half a million dollar payout after injuring herself at a gym Jacqueline Powell, suffered a slipped disk in her back after moving […]
Read more

Just how to live longer: Desire the muscle health and fitness of a person thirty years more youthful? Do this one thing

The key to longevity is to look after yourself – inside and out. For a younger approach to life, there’s one thing you can do to help yourself. Here’s what the research shows. The director of the Human Performance Laboratory confessed the data had left him and his team “shocked”. Based at the Ball State […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for: