Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's a little food poisoning?

Whether you are a gringo or a local you will most likely get sick within a year of being in Cusco. It's not just the weak stomached extranjeros who have problems with the cleanliness of food here. When I first got to Cusco I remember going to the office of the tour agency with whom I did the Inca Trail and the guy who was helping me had to go to the bathroom about 3 times during our 10 minute meeting. Not fun. There is a reason the US has strict health codes. When was the last time you got food poisoning and food poisoning from a restaurant? (I remember getting food poisoning from a thanksgiving dinner but it was a homemade meal.) There is a law in Washington DC that if you want to distribute "home made" food you have to make it in an industrial kitchen where all the codes are upheld. It's probably not a bad thing, even though it might be a bit more difficult to sell what it is that you want to make considering you also have to pay to rent the kitchen.

I write this because I had a day of misery yesterday with a 24 hour food poisoning and I am not sure where it came from. It could have been some bad pineapple I ate, or maybe the egg from the maracuya sour I made but who knows. Fortunately, with some cipro and some good loving from my number one nurse I survived. The funny thing is that it isn't even the worst episode I have had since getting tho Cusco. I dealt with Salmonella which was incredibly gross and my fair share of bouts of food exiting my body way too easily. (Pardon the gross mental image.)

Anyway, I feel pretty lucky considering I haven't had a parasite that has lasted more than a day. I fully understand that I take a risk every time I put any food into my mouth but I am hoping that the strong stomach gene I got from my mom and grandpa will keep me healthy. I also need to stay away from street food and maybe raw eggs too. I do love me some pisco sours but I can definitely live without them.

As for now, I am enjoying some tea and cookies (both prepackaged. :).

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