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One Mistake Led to Another (Part VII) – Product Recall

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Just when you think things are getting back to normal, Mother Nature throws a monkey wrench into the works.

Since my Colon Cancer surgery on June 23rd, I have been on a very limited diet. I could eat white bread or rye bread. corn flakes, non-fat ice cream and reduced fat cheese, Ripe bananas and canned fruit, white rice, potatoes without the skins, and soups.

But I don’t normally eat those things, except the bananas. I eat whole grain breads, a lot of cheese, and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

However, I couldn’t have any whole grain breads, oatmeal, brown rice, or wild rice.

I also couldn’t have any milk, cream or half-and half; but that didn’t really matter because I couldn’t have any strongly flavored seasoning, alcoholic beverages, or caffeine; so I couldn’t have any coffee to put milk or half-and half in.

More than that, I couldn’t eat any fresh or dried fruit, and I couldn’t eat any raw, fried or breaded vegetables. Gas producing vegetables, such as broccoli, onions, cucumbers, green peppers and pickles were also forbidden.

So basically, my entire diet was thrown out the window. Everything I normally eat was on the forbidden list, and everything I virtually never eat was on the approved list.

It was also tough going to the local Wegmans supermarket because the door into my local Wegmans opens into a great produce department, and I had to walk though that produce department and couldn’t buy anything but ripe bananas.

When I saw Dr. Teng on July 10th, he told me that I could start adding some of the restricted items to my diet, and when I saw him again on July 17th, he told me I didn’t have to avoid any of the foods on the list anymore.

So the next day I drove up to Wegmans and bought one of everything in the produce department. I bought strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, apples, and even bananas.

When I got home, I ate several handfuls of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Then I froze some of the berries, and cut up most of the fruit and made a huge fruit salad.

I tossed in some raisins, mixed everything together, and put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

That night I made a stir-fry with pork, onions, green peppers and brown rice, and I sat down for my first good meal since the operation. For dessert, I had a big bowl of fruit salad.

This was the life.

I was a little concerned that I had overdone it, and that I might wind up with diarrhea. But at least I wouldn’t have to worry about taking a laxative anymore.

The next morning, the wheels came off. My digestion was fine, but while I was eating breakfast the phone rang. It was an automated call from Wegmans to tell me that there records indicated that I had purchase peaches and nectarines that were being recalled “because they may be contaminated with Listeria.

The recorded message told me to discard the fruit at home and then visit the service desk at my local Wegmans for a full refund.

The message also said that if I did not have my receipt, that Wegmans would calculate the amount of the refund base on the customer’s estimated count of product discarded (e.g. 4 white non-organic peaches).

I had my receipt, but I also just eaten some of the potentially contaminated fruit salad with my breakfast.

So I took the two remaining peaches and two remaining nectarines and threw them in a plastic Wegmans bag. Then I took out the fruit salad and poured that into the same plastic Wegmans bag.

I then threw the plastic Wegmans bag into the white plastic garbage bag in the waste can, and took the bag out to the garage and threw it into the garbage can.

Then I went back to Wegmans to get my refund. The strangest thing was that they still had plenty of peaches and nectarines on display in the produce department, just not the varieties that I had purchased the previous day.

The Reason for Recall: “Wawona Packing Company has recalled Wawona Sweet 2 Eat organic and non-organic white and yellow peaches, white and yellow nectarines and black plums because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.”

If I had bought different varieties, I’d still have my fruit salad.

Wegmans issued two product recalls:

Listeria is a form of food poisoning, and the one good thing about the recall is that because I have been so sick lately, I am very familiar with the symptoms of food poisoning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.”

So if I feel sick, at least I don’t have to worry about whether I have cancer.

To Be Continued in One Mistake Led to Another (Part VIII).

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