For instance, a group of people became ill after attending a picnic in the woods where they had not rented enough Port-A-Potties. There was a champagne fountain and a lot of drinking.
Due to the paucity, people were relieving themselves in the woods. Then, they returned to the fountain to replenish their drinks. It is the nature of these fountains that, in order to get a glassful, a person's hands are often bathed in champagne, especially when one is already tipsy. The bacteria on the hands of the guests was being washed into the champagne and re-circulated.
The next day a lot of people became very ill. Only through extensive questioning and careful analysis was this mystery solved.
In Orange County, we are fortunate to have a very diligent health department that inspects restaurants every three months, although occasionally at A La Carte, when the department was overburdened, we didn't see an inspector for six months because our record was excellent.
Despite this, over the years, we still had two complaints requiring the sanitarian to come for a surprise inspection — which we passed with flying colors. The department cannot let any complaint go unchecked.
At the shop, we were occasionally confronted with an angry customer who insisted that they had become ill immediately after eating our food.
This was always difficult to deal with because the person was usually upset and didn't want hear a lecture on food-borne illness; but if you, dear reader, are not in the throes of intestinal distress, perhaps we can give you some information on the subject as well as some tips for prevention and, finally, how to report a restaurant if you have a legitimate claim to a food-borne illness.
Most people think that the meal that they just re-experienced so unpleasantly was the one that caused their illness.