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Just how big of a deal you should make about avoid foods at restaurants is open to debate. Where to draw the line about what you will and will not eat when you are a guest in someone’s home may change under different circumstances. But when you are offered something to eat that can make you sick, you have to stand up for yourself – even if it is embarrassing.
My husband and I were invited to a banquet by a friend of mine. It was a fund raising event that included a nice dinner, a hilarious after dinner speaker, and an appeal for money. My friend paid for our tickets.
The dinner was barbeque and included a choice of chicken, ribs, and sausage. I chose chicken and ribs. I don’t usually eat ribs, because I prefer lean meat, but these were well trimmed and cooked until they practically fell off the bone. The trouble came when I cut into the chicken. It was not cooked. The outside was brown, but just below the surface, it was pink, and next to the bone it was bright red.
The last time I saw chicken like this was on a camping trip when I was pregnant with DD. There were about 30 of us on the trip, and we had played hard all day. We got a late start grilling the chicken, and everyone was getting hungry. The cooks turned up the heat to speed things up. At last dinner was ready, and it smelled delicious. I cut into my chicken and saw red. Something warned me not to eat it. The next day half of the people on the trip had diarrhea.
I picked up my plate and walked across the huge banquet hall to the serving area. I politely said, “I don’t think my chicken is cooked.” The server lit into me. “I could cook that chicken for two hours and it would still be red,” she snarled. “Chicken is just like that. Here, would you rather have this piece?” She put a little piece of chicken on a clean plate. I took it and walked away.
For some reason I was embarrassed. I felt like everyone had heard her reprimand me. It was a long walk back to my table.
However, the little piece of chicken was fully cooked, and I enjoyed it. The more I thought about what had happened, the more I realized that I had been right. Compromising on a food that isn’t the best choice for maximum health is one thing, but inviting pain and sickness is something else. People with allergies or debilitating food sensitivities must insist that their food is properly prepared even if a server or a cook is inconvenienced. And if a restaurant, or even a friend, serves something dangerous, stand up for yourself and don’t eat it.
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