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Food Safety Issues/Food poisoning from potatoes


Owing to an absurd mix-up with my wife, I ended up eating some roasted potatoes that had accidentally been left sitting in the oven at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Unsurprisingly, within about 16 hours I felt nauseous with a very uncomfortable stomach. That night, I had chills and sweats and for the following 2-3 days felt fatigued.

However, around the same time I also developed a sore throat - not unbearable, but a constant niggle. I was just wondering whether a sore throat could conceivably be a symptom of my food poisoning?

Thank you in advance,


Andrew...I'll explain why you probably didn't get food poisoning. Even though roasted potatoes were left in the danger zone (not under refrigeration) you still need a pathogen (microorganism known to cause food poisoning) to contaminate the potatoes. It is highly unlikely your oven is contaminated with something like salmonella or staff because every time you use it you are basically sterilizing it with the high oven temperatures. There are always airborne microorganisms around and they surely "contaminated" the potatoes because so much time went by. These would be bacteria/mold associated with spoilage. That's why the potatoes would eventually "spoil" if left there. To get food poisoning you would need to touch the potatoes with something contaminated such as your dirty hands or chicken blood which sometimes has salmonella. Your onset time of 16 hours is a very short onset for food poisoning - usually  it takes at least 24 hrs for symptoms and more likely 48 hrs or even more. You likely ingested spoilage organisms which can make you sick - like eating road kill would make you sick but that's not food poisoning or more likely you caught a virus since a sore throat is not a symptom of food poisoning. What a great question! Sorry i took so long to answer. I just saw it.  

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Carl LaFrate


I can answer food safety questions relative to food processing, retail food and food salvage after a catastrophic event such as a hurricane, flood, ammonia leak or fire. Questions related to HACCP, Regulatory, GFSI, SQF, BRC, liability issues, contamination events, pest infestation, pest control methodology,food safety defense, pathogen prevention such as L. Monocytogenes control in food processing and retail, any subject related to food safety including at home issues.


30 years experience as a food safety consultant working for the top food processors, food retailers and insurance companies that write liability policies related to food processing, storage and distribution. My firm employees 6 full time food safety auditors. I work for top law firms throughout the USA and am a staff consultant for Douglas Peterson and Associates, one of the top forensic engineering firms in the world. I also work with Risk Solutions International, a global leader in risk management.

New York State Association for Food Protection, past president, executive board Central Atlantic States Association of Food and Drug Officials

Progressive Grocer Magazine Smart Money Magazine Private Label Buyer Magazine Supermarket News Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine Food Service Director Magazine NYS Association for Food Protection Annual Report NYS Association for Food Protection Newsletter

Syracuse University, Microbiology/Biology NYS College of Environmental Sciences, Plant and Environmental Biology Cornell University, Food and Dairy Processing

Awards and Honors
Wm. Hickey Award (2006), NYS Association for Food Protection, for contributions in the field of food safety and sanitation New York State Integrated Pest Management Award (2007), NYS Assoc. for Food Protection, for contributions in the filed of integrated pest management.

Past/Present Clients
Pillsbury, Agri-Mark, Associated Grocers, Beatrice Foods, Cargill, Southern Cold Storage, Quaker, Ben & Jerry’s, Delverde Pasta (Italy), New York Bakery, Cabot Cheese, Hazelwood Farms, General Mills, Price Chopper Supermarkets, P&C Supermarkets, Great American Supermarkets, Tops Markets, Big M Supermarkets, Big Bear Supermarkets, Frito-Lay Distribution Centers, IBP, Excell, Eckerd Drugs, Rite Aid Drug Stores, Fay’s Drugs, Carl’s Drugs, AWI Wholesale Food Distribution, McLane Food Distributors, Golub Food Distribution, many supermarket chains (many include large scale specialty food service operations), Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Darden Foods (Red Lobster, Olive Garden), LSG Skychefs (Germany, US), Glen Mills Schools, Cornell University, Crider Poultry, Caesar’s Palace, The Oneida Indian Nation, Taylor Meat Packing, UCB Packaging Films

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