So I'm writing this post from my sickbed...every joint in my body aches and I've run up a temperature...why?
Because stupid, arrogant me - I ate some food that is particularly prone to bacterial growth after it had been sitting out for 12 hours. Uh huh. That's right. I knew better and I still did it. And to make matters worse, it was food at my house, and there was no reason to eat it as I had plenty of other snacks available. Here's my sad, short and pathetic story:
On Sunday Nam picked me up from the airport. Ever thoughtful, she brought along a plate of dinner goodies - some chicken, salad, cauliflower, potatoes. I ate some of it and put the rest in my fridge. Flash forward to Monday morning. I take out the plate, heat some of it up, and then absent-mindedly leave the plate out. I'll blame the dog I'm pet-sitting, who had me up at 4 am.
At any rate, when I came home at 6 I gobbled up the remaining tidbits on the plate, cold (or at least lukewarm). As I did so, I thought, "Hmm, this isn't a good idea. This completely cooked food has probably been growing bacteria all day. What the hell..."
At 4 am, 10 hours later, I woke up nauseated. I vowed not to lose my lunch. Or dinner, or snack. It wasn't too difficult to avoid eating - the food poisoning has given me a raging fever, the worst body ache and has destroyed my appetite.
I did go to work, and occasionally lay down on the floor under my desk. Eventually I left...drove home fearful I'd be losing my lunch within minutes.
So here's the lesson: do not eat food that has been left out in temps above 41 degrees and below 145 for more than 4 hours - especially meat or foods that have come in contact with meat. You will regret it.
One last thought: given incubation periods, it may be that I became sick from what I ate on Sunday night...hope this goes away soon.
Here's more info: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001652.htm