Beware the Botty Bugs.

Salmonella is a very unpleasant infection but not usually fatal. Even the Mail has to admit that the three deaths linked to this current wave of wet poo washing over the cities of England weren’t directly attributed to the nasty little gut-emptier.

If you catch this one, you probably won’t die but you’ll spend a week wanting to. You’ll feel as though Dyno-Rod have been letting their apprentices practise on you.

It’s not hard to track its source because it tends to start throwing out your neatly stored gut contents and redecorating within about six hours of moving in. So what and where did you eat in the last six hours or so? When you have thirty people suffering the double deluge at the same time, it’s fairly easy to find the common factor.

Which they have. Several common factors. Two restaurants and a hospital, so far. Since these cases all came up (sorry) at once, what they’ll be looking for next is a common supplier for all those outlets (ahem).

It hasn’t ‘spread’ at all. The cases are from a batch of food, most likely chicken and most likely imported since most big UK producers vaccinate their birds against Salmonella and check the vaccine has worked. The one to watch out for in chicken is Campylobacter – it gets into the meat, not just on the surface. It’s far nastier than Salmonella but fortunately both are killed by cooking. As long as every part of the meat, right through, gets above 80C, it’s fine. Note that freezing is never a reliable way to kill bacteria, and freeze-drying is in fact one of the best ways to store them long term. Heat will kill them, cold inconveniences them.

The bigger risk with these beasties (Salmonella especially since it’s mostly surface contamination) is handling the raw meat and then handling salad. Get the bugs on the salad and there’ll be no heat treatment. Nobody is going to buy boiled lettuce.

When you have a central distribution system with a supplier sending stock all over the place, this is going to happen from time to time. Sure, food gets tested in microbiology labs but here’s the thing – it can take four days to declare a sample clean, and if it has Salmonella in it, it can still take two days to find it. That’s why you see product recalls. By the time the lab results come back, the shipment has gone out.

Also, the lab will be sent a chicken (or anything else) from a huge batch and will test 25g of that sample. It is quite possible that there are no Salmonella in the test sample but plenty on the rest of the batch! Add to that, Salmonella grows. If there is a refrigeration problem it will grow faster. So a sample which tested clean might only have a little contamination, but that little contamination can grow into an army of gut-hating rabid little sausages. Salmonella is pretty feeble in low numbers. It has to arrive in the thousands at one time or the resident bacteria in the gut kick its ass.

The report is an overhyped scare story. This is Salmonella, not Ebola. It’s going to make you into a double-ended fountain of foulness for about a week. It is not going to dissolve you from the inside. Most people need no treatment at all, just keep getting loads of fluids to replace the stuff coming out. Oh, and apples. Eat apples. They won’t make you completely Salmonella-proof but you’ll have to get a far bigger dose than someone who thinks apples are what grannies and old farts eat. Not too many apples mind, too many of those can give you the squits too. At least with apples, it only comes out of one end.

One thing worth knowing if there is a Salmonella problem in your area is that a very good way to keep them viable long-term is to mix them with dessicated coconut. So avoid things made with dessicated coconut when Salmonella is on the prowl.

Well, this is an early posting because it’s Smoky-Drinky night and I’m off out. Co-op has the Singleton of Dufftown on special offer at £23, and I was paid today, so the outcome is inevitable. Besides, I haven’t been to Smoky-Drinky in a while so it calls for something a bit better than the usual stuff.

One last note on Salmonella. They aren’t green and they don’t have legs. They are sausage-shaped though.

Oh, and they have never, ever been found in whisky. Right, I’m off before the Co-Op runs out of cheap single malt.




23 thoughts on “Beware the Botty Bugs.

  1. A week of shitting what looks like tomato ketchup and cramps so bad that you lose control of your bladder and pain that required synthetic opiates to ‘manage’. The doctors said it was the nearest a man could get to the pain of giving birth. I found a cure though; drinking the 6 litres of Epsom Salts solution they give you before they send a film crew up your arse. I’m told ‘normal’ salt water works well too. Just drink warm salty-enough-to-make-you-gagg water until the ketchup is transparent. Do not do this without first consulting a , as the Germans say. ‘doctor you trust’.


    • A good flush through would do it, true. That will get rid of all the other bugs too, and some of them are worth keeping.

      Still, it would get rid of the immediate pain but could leave you a little unstable for a few weeks until they repopulate.


  2. Was that a comment from the UNblocked dwarf?
    Anyway, off at a tangent as usual, I notice that the memsahib’s bottle of dry skin lotion contains various alcohols and fructose, which is a sugar, so DRY SKIN MAKES YOU A FAT PLONKIE! MSM take note of this handy quiet day filler; I’ll bill you later


    • That’s a good one. So spreading stuff on your skin means you absorb fat and sugar without even eating it. Second hand overeating!

      It’s too late to find a drone tonight. Tomorrow I must go out…


    • Think I had Salmonella once. Whilst I was working on the pig farm. It was not THAT bad, (Ebola was worse, but that made me ill. Don’t want that again.) Still went out and collected the eggs from the hens and ducks. The fact I felt the need to shit all over them was neither here nor there. Hens and ducks, that is, NOT the eggs.

      Must admit, cleaning out the pigs twice a day was a bit stomach churning for a few days.


    • Pigs used to be a good source of Salmonella (also tapeworms) but that’s pretty much under control now.

      But if you were working with pigs AND poultry, then the shit-bugs would have definitely had you on their list.

      I have also worked with both but had the microbiology training first – so knew what I was up against.


  3. Ah, good old Campylobacter. Reminds me of the two Australian scientists who, back in the 1980’s had proof that Helicobacter Pylori caused ulcers. Of course, the medical establishment never believed them. All self-respecting doctors and scientists knew that bad diet and too much grog caused ulcers! [Of course, Glaxo – who were making billions of dollars each year selling Zantac – did its best to destroy the gallant researchers’ credibility.]

    In the end, they had to have one of them swallowed a beaker of liquid infested with the nasty little critters. A week later, he came down with a bad case of – yes, you guessed it – gastric ulcers. He then proceeded to cure himself by a course of antibiotics.

    Only then did the accepted wisdom change.


  4. Try eating a handful of Walnuts if you are allergic to Tree Nuts. Not only did I nearly die, I wished at one point that I could.
    The trouble is that you don’t know it has crept up on you until it does. Having spent a life time eating Walnuts with no trouble at all.
    And yes, I did try it again, not having been sure it was the nuts. The second time was even worse. Which according to Google is par for the course. And can kill you if you persist.

    My one bout of Denghi Fever was a picnic by comparison.


    • I like walnuts but they go through undigested. If I eat too many, they go through pretty fast! Still, no really vicious effects, no allergic reaction.

      Could happen in the future, I suppose. I used to wear a wristwatch until I was about 40 when my wrist suddenly became allergic to metal. Now it’s a pocket watch.


      • That is the nature of allergies. They creep up on you, probably due to saturation. And then just as easily go away again years later. But I won’t be testing that one again.
        Incidentally, they weren’t commercially raised Walnuts, just nuts collected from someone’s garden, and had never been sprayed or fertilised with anything.
        Allergies seem to swap around, but if you are that way inclined then it will always be something.
        And No, I m not a hyperchondriac as my Doctor would once have had me believe.
        Bloody pillock.


        • That is a bit like Gout. You never know WHAT will cause it. I had NO problems with rice pudding, for example. Then all of a sudden, three times in a row, I got gout immediately on even trying a few spoon fulls. That happened for around four years. Now, I have no problems with it again. Avocados similar.


          • A friend of mine had a similar problem with Gout, except that I can’t remember what caused it. But it was something ludicrous. And he hadn’t drunk anything alcoholic for three months, due to being at a fat farm.
            I’ve lost track of what sets me off. But it isn’t booze of any kind. I have no problems whatsoever if I just drink. But I can’t keep that up forever.
            And it isn’t the fags either. So there.


            • At LEAST one beer per day, and gout comes only once every few months. No beer, and it is once per WEEK, sometimes, although you really can not tell where one ends and the other attack beginns.

              And FORGET what the witchdoctors tell you about pork. I can eat as much of that as I like with NO effect whatsoever.

              The only things I can NOT touch are British/Belgian beers, and red wine.


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