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Thread: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2014
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    Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    At the moment I'm at my wit's end over this. Last night I decided to cook some halloumi that I've had in a cupboard for something like eight months - the long use-by date made me think I could do this. It was only after opening it and trying a piece did I notice that it should have been kept in the fridge all this time (which I don't have). So I've tried to keep calm, but I'm failing. I know it's very rare in the UK but it has to happen, right?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    OK, the obvious question, why no fridge ? I'm actually really surprised you had kept it in a cupboard, as any cheese or dairy product is kept at below 5 degrees. Anyway, that doesn't help you now does it, but .......

    Secondly, you ate it last night , I know that botulism can show a while later and doesn't always show in a few hours, but the vast majority of cases are effectively treated anyway, especially if awareness and treatment are done early. Your food poisoning awareness are clearly very high, and I'm sure you'd seek medical attention if there was even the weeniest sign of anything amiss There really is nothing you can do about the tiny piece you tested, but wait it out. You don't mention that it tasted like gone off milk, so it seems very promising that you don't need to worry too much. I'm no food preservation expert, far from it, but I would have thought that if botulism was present in the halloumi to start with, then it would have been recalled anyway as someone , somewhere would have eaten it ?

  3. #3
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    Dec 2014
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    My fridge broke 3 years ago and if you saw how I live, you'd know why it hasn't been replaced. The cheese did have a slightly "off milk" smell to it which I initially put down to what it's made from but I'm worried that botulism could have developed in it in the months it's been incorrectly stored? I'm now constantly twitching my face and prodding it to look for nerve damage.

  4. #4
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    Pamplemousse, you are in the UK, have you tried a request for an old fridge from freecycle or similar ?

    I'm afraid I don't know enough about food borne/packaging illnesses to answer your query about that.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2018
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    Panplemousse, I'm a qualified researcher. Please feel free to let me know your approximate location? There are so many charities offering reconditioned appliances to those in need, I'm sure you'll be in the catchment area for one of them. This is no way for you to live.

  6. #6
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    It's not a question of being unable to afford one - the house is so untidy it's probably unfit for habitation and there's no room for one.

    But I live alone so only I have to put up with it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    You really need to take better care of yourself.
    __________________
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    Sometimes, it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. - Terry Pratchett

  8. #8
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    Dec 2014
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    I know that... but in my current frame of mind I am wondering why I bother continuing living. Sometimes I think it would be a blessing if it ended, yet I'm terrified of death.

  9. #9
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    You don't really want to die, PM otherwise you wouldn't be worried about botulism. It would be an "honourable way out".

    Get a fridge though? It's essential and there will be space for a small one. You deserve to have one and it will be an investment and help you to store healthier foods.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Botulism from incorrectly kept cheese?

    Yep, no more worrying about storage of foods and fears of botulism

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