DR. HOOK- PB and S?: Those nasty pathogens ruin the jelly!

Unexpected things happen all the time with food (look at Kim Basinger in 9 ½ Weeks). Once I was eating brunch at a restaurant– fancy schmancy with an omelet chef– and I dove into my omelet. Now I've been known to have a piercing tongue at times, but I never expected to bite into a staple! The omelet chef suspects that when he was opening the flour bag, the staple flew into the bowl of eggs. (Christina Aguilera probably would have left it in her tongue.)

 Another time I was drinking my San Pellegrino sparkling water at a different restaurant and almost swallowed a bottle cap. Thank God it wasn't a cork!

In the play Mame, future "in-laws" serve Auntie Mame an appetizer. Mame bites into it, nearly spits it out, and asks what it is. Tuna fish and peanut butter. Personally, I think there are some universal foods that are terrific with anything and peanut butter is one of them. You can add it to almost anything, and yum yum! But tuna fish? I'll have to revisit this thought. What happens if you add the bacteria Salmonella to peanut butter?

 Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter products have been linked with a Salmonella outbreak, and now it might be dated to 2005. We're talking about non-typhoid strains of Salmonella here in the US, which cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, and fever. Blood in the diarrhea can occur as well, and diarrhea lasts on average 4-10 days.

 Salmonella is ingested and takes about 6-72 hours for symptoms to appear. It's rarely deadly, but in infants and the elderly, complications can occur– especially if it spreads into the blood to infect the bone or heart. 

 Most commonly, eggs and poultry are foods contaminated with Salmonella. (Which came first? The chicken, the egg, or the Salmonella?) So how in the world did Salmonella get into some batches of these two brands of peanut butter? Well, other non high-risk foods have been associated in the past with Salmonella outbreaks, like meats, dry cereals, OJ, mangoes, cantaloupes, tomatoes, sprouts, ice cream, and milk. Great, you're eating all these healthy foods and end up on the can for a week! 

 In one case, 224,000 cases of Salmonella were linked to a certain ice cream because the tankers used to transport them were previously contaminated by liquid eggs. (That's kind of like going to the laundromat and using a dryer that previously had stinky unwashed clothes in it. That is when I realized winning a washer and dryer on The Newlywed Game was a good deal.) 

 Salmonella is the #1 food-borne pathogen that leads folks to the hospital as well as causing death. But don't think you can get it only from food. Turtles, snakes, lizards, hamsters, and mice can be contaminated. Even sick cats and dogs with Salmonella have spread it to their owners. Dr. Doolittle, where are you?!

 Because most people recover on their own, antibiotics are not needed– which is a good thing, because Salmonella is majorly resistant to many antibiotics now. In fact, some people become chronic carriers of Salmonella, meaning they don't have symptoms. We wonder if taking antibiotics for Salmonella might cause this carrier state (sounds like the movie Aliensans the monster popping out of the belly). 

 Knowing the way Hollywood works, I wonder if they're going to make a Peter Pan diet. Peanut butter and jelly, So good in your belly, But if it has Salmonella, It will come out really smelly.

Do I sound like Paula Abdul?