On Saturday night, I ran into a friend outside a SIFF showing who was doubled over a wastebasket. No, he hadn't been slugging Everclear from his hip flask: It was food poisoning, so nasty a bout that it almost caused him to black out. Though D didn't use the exact phrase "sic 'em" when telling me about the afternoon snack he'd picked up at a Capitol Hill restaurant, I imagine a food critic is one of the more gratifying people to encounter during a bout of food poisoning. "It had to be [the cafe,]" he said. "That was the only meal I've eaten today."
I arrived at work this morning to find an email from D. Not only was he still alive—thankfully—but he just found out that the two co-workers with whom he'd split a lunchtime sashimi platter on Friday had also gotten sick. One even went to the ER. They did the right thing and reported their collective illness to the King County Food Protection Program. (For legal purposes, my editor says that without confirmation from the county agency, I shouldn't name the Redmond restaurant that allegedly made D sick.)
D's experience was a good reminder that when the health department tells you that the symptoms of food poisoning can take as long as 72 hours to appear, they mean it. Though I almost never get ill (killer gut, I guess), like D, when assigning blame, I've always assumed that 4 to 8 hours is the correct window of time.