Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical Editor
There are a lot of folks thinking: there has got to be some nasty stomach bug going around right now. Queasy, no appetite, head-achy, the trots. Well guess what? Odds are it’s not a germ someone gave you, but one you happened to eat. We see (and hear about it every year).

The holidays are a big time for food that’s just a bit past the ripe point, and as a result, can make you feel pretty crummy. Now I know you’re thinking— Hey, it all looked good, smelled good, and tasted good. That triad is the biggest myth when it comes to food poisoning. A piece of food can seem “perfectly perfect,” even tasty, as its germ-filled morsels pass down your gullet.

The main reasons for problems include using a plate that had raw food on it that now gets cooked food put on it, as well as people simply not washing their hands as they handle food. But the No. 1 reason by far?

Leaving food sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

That’s a surefire invitation to stomach cramps. Come on, think about how many parties and get-togethers have food that sits out for more than 2 hours as people pick away. Perhaps you’ve done it before and not gotten sick, or some people nibble like you do and don’t feel punk.

That’s usually because:

1) You’re lucky.
2) Pieces of food spoil at different rates, so the whole bowl of whatever hasn’t gone down contamination canyon– so some munchers get lucky and others do not.

The point is — keep hot foods hot, cold foods cold.

Don’t rely on how food looks, tastes, or smells. And remember that 2 hour rule for room temperature. Or else you may be spending an extra 2 hours with a favorite magazine in your least favorite little room of the house.


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