In 2002 we flew out to British Columbia with our kids to celebrate Christmas and New Year's with my family, our youngest child at that time (kid #3) was only 8 weeks old.
My parent's friends gave them their chalet in Whistler for us to enjoy some family time together. The house was filled to the brim!! Two of my sisters, plenty of children, and a even few of my cousins joined in the mix for a bit. There was a lot of laughter, time spent tobogganing and moments by the fire.
On New Year's Eve, we went for dinner at a restaurant near the Whistler Village. We ordered our meals, my mom ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad, we ate and then we headed into the village to walk around, enjoy the night lights and linger in the wintery wonderland.
As soon as we started walking around, we knew something was wrong with my mom. She was complaining her stomach hurt, she didn't feel well, it didn't take long before she was doubled over and throwing up.
By the time we made it back to our chalet, she was greyish and clammy. All she wanted to do was go to bed.
The rest of us were in the living room when we heard my dad scream my mom's name, "Sharon, I speak life into you!" My husband and my niece's dad jumped up and ran up the stairs to them. A second later they yelled to us, "CALL 911!!"
My mom was in the bathroom and had passed out. As she lay there on the floor, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, she was unresponsive.
Paramedics were there within minutes. It all happened so quickly and was a bit surreal. They were able to stabilize her and took her to the hospital.
Food poisoning almost killed her!
I can't even imagine what life would be like if... 10 years later to the date, she wasn't here with us to celebrate my baby sister's wedding.
My mom has taught us all about the perils that lurk in a kitchen. About cross-contamination, what happens when you leave food out for longer than a couple hours, proper food temperatures and not just because of this incident. My parents own a restaurant and know the importance of staying on top of a clean kitchen. A food inspector once told her, more people chalk up their not feeling good to a 24hr flu when in fact, their illness was actually food poisoning related.
Did you know that your kitchen sink has 100,000 more germs than your toilet??!!!
Since you don't have access to my mom, my version of the Hygiene Council :) make sure you check out their website. Germs are all around us and sometimes it's difficult to know how to protect yourself and your families from the threat of infection.
During these holidays, when we're eating out more than usual, or making meals in more of a hurry... take as many precautions as possible. Food poisoning is serious business!