Have you had your hepatitis shots? This is something you don’t want to hear just as your digging into some sushi in Manila. My friend John Huang dropped this question on me while we were enjoying a sushi lunch one day in Manila. Fortunately. I didn’t have any problems.
The biggest single cause of food poisoning is people touching food ingredients with their hands. Hepatitis is a whole other issue. My friend Johnnie Huang had a battle with Hepatitis after a trip to Papua New Guinea. That is why he asked about my having hepatitis shots. After that I did. If you are traveling to the tropics you should too.
Food poisoning isn’t something you worry too much about at supper clubs, but it is a risk whenever and wherever you eat. The old line is if someone asks you how your meal was, you can answer I’ll let you know in 6 hours.
Food born illnesses can take between a few hours and a few weeks to incubate. A common denominator for feeling the effects of food poisoning is the 6 hour time frame. Having worked with many food scientists and microbiologists over my years with Kraft foods I know more than I want to about food poisoning and pathogens.
I ran a Coconut company in the Philippines and traveled there quite a bit over a period of 20 years. On one of my first trips there I traveled with a microbiologist who scared the daylights out of me. Of course hearing about all the possible issues seemed to lead to a case of “Marcos’s revenge”. Getting sick overseas is just no fun.
I do have a supper club story connected to my Philippine travels. I was at a restaurant in Manila and saw someone who looked familiar but couldn’t place where I knew him. Sure enough a few months later I see the same guy at a supper club dinner party. I go up to him and say “Two months ago I saw you in Manila”. He gave me that “Oh shit what was I doing look”. Oops
As far as a real supper supper club message, make sure you wash your hands, a lot!
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