I have been religiously visiting the Harris Teeter Hot / Salad Bar for week day lunches for the last several of months. I did this because they have many vegetable selections that are not fried… asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, etc. I have eaten pork, chicken, shrimp, salmon, meatballs, etc. and sometime just the salad bar. I have had no problem with this until yesterday.
Here were some of the items that I added to my “hamburger” sized carry out box: garden peas, wild rice, cauliflower, salmon, steamed carrots & broccoli, green beans, red & yellow bell pepper, sugar snap peas, quinoa, raw onion, bean salad, shredded parmesan cheese, bacon bits. I think this was everything that I included in the small box.
I paid for the carry out and went to my car to eat. I did not have any drink, and do not usually. I started to eat, and listen to the radio. I soon noted that my throat was beginning to close up, and there seemed to be a reaction forcing the food back up… not throwing up, but as if gas might be filling me up. *I stopped eating and began to wonder if I shouldn’t go inside to get some water to drink. The reaction began to subside, but I decided to close the box and take it back to my office to try again. That way I could fix a drink (lemonade mix from WalMart) in case the problem occurred again.
Sure enough, as I began to eat, some salmon, some bell pepper, a green bean, the allergic reaction began to occur again. I stopped eating, and decided to throw the remainder into my trash can.
After a few minutes I decided to call the Harris Teeter to give them a “heads up” that there might be a problem. I think the Manager’s name was Brian. He offered to pay for my meal, but I said, “That’s not why I called. Just wanted to give you a head up, in case someone else reports something similar, you will know.”
I fixed some sausage soup for dinner. I used hot country sausage, with some left-over Kielbasa, and added onion, potato, garbanzo beans and a little kale. To this I added a large amount of smoked Paprika. This was delicious! I noted that I continued to cough a dry cough for the rest of the night and into this morning.
ADDENDUM: I’ve been coughing that dry cough all day and it is now 4:36 pm. Maybe it was some disinfectant or cleaner that had gotten on some of the food. As I said, it wasn’t like food poisoning, but an allergic reaction.
ADDENDUM-ADDENDUM: Oddly enough, the cough continued and then it became the flu. Aches, chills, coughing until my stomach muscles were sore, etc. I stayed out of work for two days. Perhaps the allergic reaction weakened me so that I caught the flu. Just odd. I don’t think I’ve ever had one thing morph into another like this. *I am now thinking that it was probably some cleaner or other chemical that was on the food, and not the food itself.
ADDENDUM [5/31/17]: I have started having the dry cough at the back of my throat again. It reminds me of the one above, but I haven’t had any allergic reaction recently.
AAAADDENDUMMM: [06/13/18]: I didn’t remember the bout of flu afterwards, until re-reading this article. It took me several months before I tried the Harris Teeter Buffet for lunch again. I didn’t have another allergic reaction, but now am wary. I’ve gone back several times, but not the regular, every day visits.