Like many Sundays, I had dinner with my parents this evening. We normally go out for dinner but my mother told me we’d be eating in tonight. So when I drove to my parents’ home this evening, I found that my mom and dad had prepared hot pot for dinner. Hot pot is usually delicious and a fantastic meal. Going to a hot pot restaurant almost guarantees a good time. There is always an element of danger though, especially when you’re having hot pot at home. The presence of raw meats and seafood can lead to food borne illness. You need to be careful to cook everything sufficiently to kill any bacteria. Even if you cook everything properly, there’s still the possibility of contaminating utensils and surfaces by using the wrong implements; for example, using the same chopsticks to handle raw meats and cooked foods.
Knowing all of this, I was a bit wary of the meal. I made sure the broth was really boiling at all times. You never want it to get too cold or it won’t be hot enough to kill off any nasty bugs. I was also super careful not to use the wrong chopsticks. My mom laid out two sets for everyone, one for cooking and one for eating. To be even more careful, I tried to avoid all the more risky foods. I stuck to fish balls, dumplings, thin slices of beef (which you can eat slightly raw), and vegetables. I avoided things like raw chicken, shrimp, and oysters. I could not avoid my mother plopping down half a small oyster on my plate. It looked cooked enough, so I ate it.
After dinner, I went upstairs to fix my mom’s printer. Not ten minutes after finishing dinner, I felt a familiar rumbling in my midsection. I know my body well enough to realize when it starts to rumble in that spot, that’s not a good sign. Five minutes later, I was in the bathroom, expelling the contents of dinner through one of my orifices. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it was the oyster. Who knows? At least after I left the bathroom, I felt much better and haven’t really had any problems for the rest of the evening. It is interesting that I feel like I didn’t even have dinner tonight. I had to make a large snack later in the evening.
Ya gotta be careful when having hot pot.