Greg Moberly of the Times-Herald reports that Iris Martinez’s 2-year-old daughter was shaking with a severe case of diarrhea when her mother smelled something which seemed unusual.
“The smell was like a dead dog,” said Martinez remembering the food poisoning incident in 2003. Martinez, her 2-year-old daughter, 5-year-old son and members of her sister-in-laws’ family were some of many who experienced food poisoning at a temporary food operation at Six Flags Marine World.
Despite the passage of time, the Manteca resident vividly recalled her family’s ordeal.
The Martinez family isn’t the only one who’s faced the harsh onslaught of food poisoning; and that’s why Solano County food inspectors review 1,900 food establishments at least once a year. The county polices and, at the same time, shepherds restaurants’ food preparation practices, so the Martinez family and others can avoid dining nightmares.
Martinez experienced all the unpleasant symptoms of food poisoning herself, from severe stomach pain to diarrhea and vomiting.
Venaida Sears thought she had food poisoning from a Vallejo restaurant this March and through a family member told Solano County food inspectors she believed it was the reason she was hospitalized.
The Sears case wasn’t confirmed. In fact, when county food inspectors tried following up on her complaint Sears’ daughter told them it wasn’t food poisoning at all.
The Martinez family’s poisoning, however, was confirmed.
Valid or not, county food inspectors only begin grappling with food poisoning concerns when they receive citizen complaints. Therein lies the problem, county food inspectors say.
Typically, when someone believes they’ve experienced food poisoning they don’t file a complaint with the county until several days later, said Patrick Rodriguez, Solano County Environmental Health supervisor. If the sick receive any medical treatment, it’s for symptoms and not to determine whether they’ve become ill from something they ate, he said.
Only a few food poisoning complaints are confirmed each year, Rodriguez said.