Harris Teeter: Hot / Salad Bar – Allergic Reaction

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.