Cooking can be a wonderful way to relax, experiment, or challenge yourself. It’s especially fun to cook with someone else. But what if the person you are cooking with is not very careful in the kitchen and tends to cross contaminate the food very carelessly?
One Redditor’s boyfriend has just this issue, and the OP is frustrated that he doesn’t seem to understand or care that using utensils contaminated with meat products could make people sick. So she faked food poisoning to teach him a lesson. Petty or necessary?
“So my boyfriend (28m) and I (26f) both love to cook and are very good at it. We often make meals together and it’s something we really bond over. However, he has a serious issue with cross contamination that drives me insane. As a result, I feel like I have to constantly keep an eye on him to make sure that he is sanitizing things properly. It frustrates me that I feel like I have to watch him, and it frustrates him whenever I point out something he’s done that seems unsanitary,” the OP wrote.
“Last Friday evening we were making carnitas when I noticed that he was using the same knife and cutting board that he had used to chop raw pork, to then chop up onions and radishes. I could literally see red splotches on the cutting board from where the meat had been sitting. I pointed out that whenever I need to cut both meat and produce, that I always do the produce first, so that way I can use the same knife and cutting board without having to worry about cross contamination. I then told him that we couldn’t use the onions and radishes for this dish because I was not about to top my carnitas with them now that they were contaminated with raw pork.”
“He flipped out and kept saying, ‘It’s not like it’s chicken.’ I said, ‘So what? It’s still raw meat and there’s still potential for foodborne illness…’ He wouldn’t let it go so finally I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll eat your tainted f*cking produce.’ Which pissed him off further. He stormed off into our bedroom and refused to finish cooking with me. Without him knowing, I cut up new onions and radishes for garnishing and we ate dinner separately.
The next day, the OP says they were supposed to go to her boyfriend’s parents’ house for a special dinner party celebrating her boyfriend’s new job. But instead of going, she pretended to feel sick and basically stayed in bed all day. When her boyfriend asked what she thinks made her feel sick, she said, “Idk, I mean I did eat those onions and radishes that you were so pressed about…” Because she didn’t attend the dinner, her boyfriend’s family expressed their disappointment with her.
“I do feel guilty about missing this dinner since it was important to him. But I was also at my wits end as I’ve tried to talk about the contamination thing with him nicely MANY times in the past, but he always gets pissed off about it and then doesn’t change his ways,” she said.
What do Redditors think?
“YTA. Yes, he should make changes so he doesn’t cross-contaminate. But this was hella petty of you, and you missed an important event just to prove a point and be spiteful? This is very immature,” said lihzee.
“ESH. Him: Just because he’s been lucky and has strong stomach acid or whatever doesn’t give him the right to ignore basic food safety when cooking with someone else. Plus, based on what you’ve described, I bet he’s ‘washed’ things by rinsing them off so you can’t even trust ‘clean’ dishes. You: If you’re at the point where you need to lie about food poisoning to try to solve a problem in a relationship, you should have ended the relationship instead. His mother: ‘take some pepto bismol’ ?!?!? for food poisoning???” explained e_nonsequit”urs.
“YTA. You’re not entitled to lie to your boyfriend to teach him things, and you chose a horrible time to do it where you weren’t there for him to celebrate his achievement with his family. You can point him to information about cross contamination, or you can refuse to eat anything he cooks until he learns the hard way by poisoning himself. But you do not get to manipulate and deceive and control another human. He’s being stupid and careless, yeah, but you’re lying and putting on an act in order to force him to change,” said notrapunzel.
“NTA- if the veggies were going to be cooked I might give it a pass but raw onions and radish on a blood covered cutting board, hard pass. He is going to get someone sick messing around like that,” noted Impossible-Price.
The OP followed up on the situation, explaining further to Redditors what has happened since the first post. She explained they had a discussion about the issue and her boyfriend promised to be more careful — and then she saw him putting an unwashed cutting board away that had been used to prepare raw chicken.
“That same night I took him out to a nice dinner as a way to make up for missing the one at his parent’s house. We had a lovely time and things seemed to be on the mend for a few hours. Later that night, however, he developed really terrible food poisoning and to make matters worse, he was supposed to start his new job the next morning and ended up calling in sick. He blamed me for it because he thought that the food at the restaurant was what made him ill. I told him that I didn’t see how it could have been that because we shared dishes and I was feeling fine.”
“The following day his mother called and let us know that she had just taken his dad to the hospital. Apparently he had been feeling super unwell and we all assumed it was related to a chronic disease that he’s had for a few years now. He ended up needing multiple blood transfusions and tests found none other than E. coli in his urine. In the days following, my boyfriend continued to miss work and I discovered that about half the people that attended his celebration dinner the weekend before ended up sick.”
The OP thinks that at this point, she should end things with her boyfriend before she gets really sick from their careless food preparation.
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