Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Baking - What Mary Berry Doesn't Tell You

As this post goes live, millions of wannabe bakers across the U.K. will be sat watching The Great British Bake Off. Me included!


A simple word.


A simple food.

Simple and nutritious - packed with protein and minerals.


They now scare me a little.

You see, eggs have taken a whole week from my life. Well, if I'm being honest, food poisoning has taken a whole week from my life.

Food poisoning is the worst thing ever.

I can honestly say that I've never felt so ill in my entire life. Apart from maybe mastitis but I was over the worst of that in a couple of days tops. No, food poisoning, wiped me out to my bed for a whole week.

At first I thought it was caused by a takeaway curry I'd eaten that night, but no.

The innocent act of baking resulted in 6 days in bed, two phone calls from doctors, two trips to the doctor, a hospital visit at 1am, 2 injections in my ass and 5 days without any food at all.

I was also off social media.

*plays highly dramatic music*

Yes! It was that serious!

*shocked face*

It may sound overly dramatic but those who saw me at my worst (only Matt, my Sister and my parents) will know how bad I actually was. I was weak and teary. A wreck. In agony. Unable to eat, unable to get up but unable to sleep or do anything.

Yes, 6 days in bed.

Any mother will know this is serious. Us mums don't get ill. If we have flu we soldier on, we fight through it when all men fall to their beds complaining they're dying. "Even my finger nails ache!" they cry whilst we mutter under our breath, juggling 10 or more tasks.

Nope, this wiped me out good and proper.

So, what happened? Did I eat a dodgy egg?


Did I eat raw egg? (I know you're all reading this thinking I licked the spoon whilst baking...how rude!).


To be perfectly honest, I'm quite careful with eggs. I always wash my hands after breaking them and I never ever lick any cake batter if it contains raw eggs (I know, I'm so restrained!).

Just a short walk up the road from where we now live there's a great local farm shop selling a vast amount of fresh produce. It's lovely. I used to drive there from where we used to live to get fresh produce but now I'm lucky enough to live so close.

Friday 13th (how apt!) was the day before I became ill and I'd been busy as it was Matt's birthday on the 12th. I decided to bake him a sponge cake as he'd been away with work for his actual birthday and we also had his parents arriving the day after.

I got the freshly laid eggs from the farm shop and cracked them into the bowl.

I washed my hands.

I returned to the bowl to mix the cake batter.

Nothing wrong there you may say.

I'd cracked them into the bowl. That was my mistake.

The eggs were freshly laid. You know the sort? Straight out of the chickens backside, freshly covered in lovely chicken poop.

Even though I'd washed my hands I then returned back to the bowl to mix and grabbed the edge of the bowl.

That's it.

That's all it took to poison me.

Obviously my hands must have gone into my mouth at some point after that and the deed was done. Less than 36 hours later I was in utter agony.

Sadly, I'm old enough to remember old Eggwina Currie causing outrage in the late 80's. Since then I've always been well aware of how to handle eggs but obviously not enough. I guess I just never thought it would happen to me.

Over the past couple of days, since my recovery, I've heard from people who have also been told that you should always wash your eggs before use (but they never do) and people who lick the batter (naughty naughty).

I've had a couple of interesting conversations with our local environmental health officer and he said this type of food poisoning is common with bakers. Obviously the cake is fine but often the person who baked it becomes seriously ill from handling contaminated eggs. So all you budding Mary Berry's and Paul Hollywood's, take heed!

There you have it.

I wanted to blog about this to warn people to be more careful with eggs. Apparently if you're using 'fresh from the arse of a chicken eggs' then wash them first and break them with a knife or into a separate cup that can be washed straight away. There's something old Mary Berry doesn't tell you on the TV.

I wouldn't wish food poisoning on my worst enemy.

Serves me right for trying to be the domestic goddess I'm so very clearly not.

*runs off to buy shop bought cake*


Alice Langley said...

Oh you poor thing!!!!! Glad you are feeling better....and back on social media! I missed you x

Helpful Mum said...

That is pretty scary! The childminder has chickens and now I am a bit freaked out about the kids playing with them. Never considered it before.

ghostwritermummy said...

This just proves that domestic duties are bad for you! Glad you're better now xxxxx

Stephs Two Girls said...

Thanks for the reminder! I am one of the terible ones who licks the bowl out... maybe no more.... yikes. Glad you are better x

HELEN said...

who would've thought hey...scary stuff. Glad you are on the mend now but don't give up on the cake making as it looked fab...and there are eggless recipes out there! x

Blue Bear Wood said...

Blimey! there's food for thought (no pun intended).

Mummymakescakes said...

This is the main thing that puts me off fresh eggs. Pasteurised supermarket ones all the way for me. Hope you're feeling better. I've had a lot of trouble with gastroenteritis over the last few years. There's nothing quite live vomiting until there's nothing left to come up but blood and bile xxx

Looking for Blue Sky said...

That's some story and glad you're better now xx I never even knew you were supposed to wash eggs, and we all indulge in a bit of bowl licking here too - it's often the best bit.

Lady Estrogen said...

Sweet jebus! Glad you got through all of THAT ok.

This is why doing anything in the food industry scares me -- I'll kill everyone -- but with the simplest, subtle thing like this egg thing.

Thing 2 gags at the most silly things -- like my newly grown skin tag on my neck. He wretches every time he looks at it. Thanks, bud! Glad to see my skin disgusts my child. LOL

Musings from a Mum said...

Oh you poor thing, what a nightmare! I like baking and I was thinking of getting some hens but actually I like the safety of vaccinated hens but even so I am still careful about using those eggs too. I remember a friend's mum being very poorly in hospital with salmonella around the Edwina Currie furore and its scared me ever since. Hope you're fully recovered and it hasn't put you off baking for life!

madamding said...

Sounds horrendous! Ooh I've never thought about this, I have my own chickens and always use poopy eggs but saying that I also always break them into a glass first - but only because if I don't I always get shell in there! Nothing to do with hygiene. Sounds terrible.

SAHMlovingit said...

Good for you breaking them into a glass first. This was horrendous and nothing I would ever want anyone to get.

SAHMlovingit said...

Sorry for the delay. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed!
I think there's a lot to be said for the safety of vaccinated hens.
I am still eating eggs but haven't been well enough to bake yet. Hopefully I'll be back on the baking train next week. Thanks :)

SAHMlovingit said...

Yup, I did. Until I relapsed last week. Damn those oval demons!

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks C xx
We only bowl lick when there's no eggs. You're brave! Sorry for the delay. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed!

SAHMlovingit said...

Yup, it's pretty awful. At least you're wise to the lion brand eggs. Although saying that, I'd still buy fresh but I'd be sooooo careful now. Sorry for the delay. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed! xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Hahaha that made me smile :) Sorry for the delay with my reply. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed!

SAHMlovingit said...

As Arnie says, I'll be back! xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Noooooo! Don't do it again. Sorry for the delay. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed! Better now though xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Just catching up on my blog now! So much to catch up on. Feels like I've lost a month pretty much :-/ Maybe I'll slack off domestic duties from now on, I like your way of thinking Susanne xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Sorry to worry you hun. I'm sure it's fine so long as they wash their hands. Also sorry for the delay. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed!

SAHMlovingit said...

Aw thanks lovely - sorry for the delay. I had a relapse (or reaction to antibiotics) and spent just short of another week in bed! So much to catch up on xx

Stephs Two Girls said...

Gosh that really did hit you bady :( no more bowl licking for me (sounds a bit too much like #penisbeaker that, so sorry ;) !!


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