to feel like throwing up whenever I have to eat other people's home cooked food

(241 Posts)
gettngbetter Mon 19-Aug-13 13:32:15

A lady in work baked a cake the other day and brought it in to share around. I accepted a slice as not to seem rude and said I'd have it later with my lunch as I'd just eaten. Then when no one was looking I wrapped it in a napkin and threw it in the bin.

I don't know why exactly but eating something that someone baked at home makes me feel ill. How do I know how hygienic they are? I'm not overly obsessed with hygiene or germs but i dont like the thought of someone I dont know very well touching the food with their hands.

If I'm in a restaurant I have no problem eating anything - even though if I think about it rationally the chef there could be very unhygienic! I've read horror stories about restaurants having to be shut down because they were endangering people's health.

Sometimes I'm in a situation where I feel obliged to accept and eat something - and there's no way of disposing of it - I try to gulp it down as quickly as possible.

I admit it's a bit weird to feel like this - Does anyone have the same issues. Or does anyone else have similar weird phobias? My friend is totally freaked out by cotton wool (I find that weird!)

AnneUulmelmahay Mon 19-Aug-13 13:36:16

Yanbu. Ugh. But only cakes. Rolls eyes at self.

Yes to cotton wool, and I will bet my last scone (made by moi, natch) that your friend cannot bear wet wood ie washing up wooden spoons.

TheCraicDealer Mon 19-Aug-13 13:37:54

YANBU. I sort of understand where you're coming from; I will happily munch away at shop bought treats, but "home made" stuff is just not as palatable. Even though logically I know that the home made is probably better in terms of additives and E-numbers and all that!

Having said that, if someone's a professional baker who works from home, I will have my plate out quicker than Oliver bloody twist. It's completely illogical.

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 19-Aug-13 13:40:09

Not a proper phobia, but I gip when I have to handle rubber bands. Hate them. If they're old and corroded, then it's worse (my flesh is crawling just thinking of it).

However, in your situation, I do think it's acceptable to say 'oh that looks so good! I'm fine without though, thanks for offering.' If they press, just say 'I really can't, but thank you for offering.'

But I think I'm thinking that because you're throwing away cake I could have eaten!

sonlypuppyfat Mon 19-Aug-13 13:40:20

Funny bunch!

SaucyJack Mon 19-Aug-13 13:41:17

The cotton wool thing isn't weird at all! The thought of touching it gives me that fingernails down a blackboard feeling.

Ditto polystyrene scraping on nylon and I don't even want to think about wearing cheap fleece gloves. <shudder>

bequiasweet Mon 19-Aug-13 13:41:27

Yes to wet wood! Cannot eat an ice lolly from a wooden stick and as for wooden toothbrushes (gives a shudder).

SilverOldie Mon 19-Aug-13 13:42:03

I've never known anyone with the same issues as you. I don't really understand why you are ok in a restaurant, if you watch any programme about chefs, they seem to use there fingers on pretty much all the food on the plate.

Sorry, not much help.

Biting on a towel. I would rather die.

TheWickerWoman Mon 19-Aug-13 13:43:29

I am exactly the same! So is my other half. Recently at work one of the staff got into the habit of bringing lunch in for everyone on a Friday, I had to keep finding excuses to opt out. I don't know why I'm like it, the lady who made it is a hygienic cook and probably a lot cleaner than places I wil eat from but I just couldn't eat it.

JackNoneReacher Mon 19-Aug-13 13:44:49

YABU to be more worried about your friends cooking than eating in a restaurant.

If your friend is eating it in front of you/fed it to her family there shouldn't be too much to worry about.

In a restaurant, the chef is not eating the food. Even if s/he has good standards of hygiene there are other members of staff from pot washers to waiters with shocking standards of hygiene. I try not to think about it...

But just politely say you're full or just eaten something if you don't want to eat.

I had a colleague like you. We used to do lunches where everyone would bring something to contribute and had a big buffet style meal. He would go and buy a takeaway pizza and eat it all to himself as he wouldn't touch anything that someone else had made. We all thought he was really rude as it was a sort of sideways swipe at the state of our kitchens!

I'd much rather eat something made by someone at home. Goodness knows what the state of a café kitchen could be like, but a nice big wodge of home-made cake. YUM! Post it over here next time grin

VodkaJelly Mon 19-Aug-13 13:46:01

yes OP I am the same. I could never by a cake or some food from a school fete or village fair or something. I dont know why, I am sure the food is perfectly edible and the person making it has washed their hands..... but I just balk at the idea of eating it.

And I wouldnt even dream of eating something that was made in school (buscuits, cakes etc) that the kids have made (even my own) that just makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.

VodkaJelly Mon 19-Aug-13 13:47:02

buy a cake obviously

BikeRunSki Mon 19-Aug-13 13:48:17

You are all oddballs, but my mum can' t bear to touch fleece.

Boosiehs Mon 19-Aug-13 13:49:15

Very very odd if you don't feel the same about restaurants.

I wouldn't say ybu, but I find it rather odd.

FatPenguin Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:06

I am the same in work with home baked stuff off colleagues, I always politely decline. Especially when there is a 'buffet' for someone leaving etc and everyone brings something in. I have seen some colleagues using staff toilets and walking out without washing their hands, I doubt their hygiene standards are much better at home <shudder>

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:20

So what do you do when you get invited to someone's house for dinner, lunch, cake etc? Tbh, I'd say this is a pretty weird and irrational fear.

PeriodMath Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:40

Totally get this OP. I'm the same. I know it's illogical. I do all I can do avoid eating anything anyone has made and put in a Tupperware container too.

littlemisswise Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:48

I'm the same as VodkaJelly. I won't eat anything from a cake stall or that ilk.

And don't even get me started on a piece of birthday cake where children have spat all over it blown the candles out!

Treague2 Mon 19-Aug-13 13:50:52

I'm not bothered by this at all. There are germs everywhere. I wouldn't want to be given a bit of cake by someone who'd just cleaned a toilet without wearing gloves, but even that's not entirely logical.

What makes me not bothered is the stark fact that we are not, as a species, dropping dead of food-and-poo related infections all the time. We have enough of a clean environment for this not to be a worry. When there is a dangerous E. coli outbreak or a legionella outbreak then that is newsworthy. Pathogens tend to be dealt with very well by our bodies unless immunosuppressed, in which case, you take special measures.

I think it's a bit sad/worrisome to be thinking about it to this extent.

cozietoesie Mon 19-Aug-13 13:51:53

Home cooked food doesn't worry me and I'll happily eat in a restaurant (despite having worked in catering before) but I'm always careful not to piss off the waiters. Don't want any 'accidents' on the way from the kitchen.

TheOnlyPink Mon 19-Aug-13 13:52:10

I'm only like that about people I don't know, so its only an issue at things like bake sales.

I'm weird about stickers. When they are new and fresh that's fine, but after the kids have stuck them on and off and they are dirty [shudder]

Brillig Mon 19-Aug-13 13:52:41

I'm a bit like this, although I don't take it to extremes - I would eat something a colleague had brought into work if it would look impolite not to.

But I just don't fancy things that look as though they might have been pawed over. I feel bad about it but that's just the way it is (and I'm a big cake-maker, with a tendency to be very critical of how the finished product looks).

I try to avoid anything SIL has cooked, as they have pets (disclaimer: I've had cats so I'm not a fanatical animal-hater) and I'm not convinced they're too hot at handwashing also, I've seen the state of their sink

EarlyIntheMorning Mon 19-Aug-13 13:53:32

I think I'm a bit similar even though I've never given it much thought.

Whenever there's a suggestion to do a get together or a picnic with lots of people involving everyone bringing their own dish and sharing, I make my excuses. I can't think of anything worse.

When there's a cake sale at school, I always buy the shop bought individually wrapped ones.

FatPenguin Mon 19-Aug-13 13:54:15

Littlemisswise- oh yes, 'there was birthday cake left over from my 4 yo party!do you want some?we covered it in candles and each kid had a go at blowing them out'

VodkaJelly Mon 19-Aug-13 13:54:34

Treague2, this isnt about catching germs this is about irrational fear, the clue is in the title - irrational.

DP hates the feel of wet wood, I dont mind it and think its funny, but I understand he cant help how he feels

Nospringchickendipper Mon 19-Aug-13 13:54:41

gettingbetter I am like you sometimes I don't want to eat something that friends have cooked at home but ok eating in a resturant

I used to hate it when my children did cooking at school and brought it home for me to try
I think it is the smell of the food that has been cooked and brought home in containers.

PeriodMath Mon 19-Aug-13 13:55:30

Oh god, a cake stall! The horror. And yes, yes to children's birthday cakes that have been spat on!

My main thing with cake is that most people cannot bake nearly as well as they think they can. They enjoy the process without caring too much about the outcome. So they want to bake their child's birthday cake because it feels like the right thing to do - when really everyone knows Waitrose will do a much better job wink

EstelleGetty Mon 19-Aug-13 13:55:39

YANBU - I used to feel like you, and felt very guilty about it. It's so daft, but I was always a bit nauseated by the thought of food that tasted of someone else's fridge. Mainly because my parents' fridge was often full of herbs and they would make other things in the fridge taste funny! It's nothing to do with hygiene - just taste. Doesn't really bother me anymore, but I get the occasional niggling feeling. Stuff that's fresh out the oven is fine, but if it's been in a Tupperware for a few hours, I do feel a bit funny. That's awful, I know. blush

I HATE touching cotton wool too. Or dry towels rubbing together - like when you pull the belt tight on a towelling dressing gown. Sets my teeth on edge!

Treague2 Mon 19-Aug-13 13:57:46

There is no 'irrational' in the title and the OP doesn't think she's overly obsessed.

DragonsAreReal Mon 19-Aug-13 13:58:45

All depends really, some peoples cakes I will eat and others I wouldn't. I do eat food from other peoples houses but only if I know the person well and can plate my own plate up. I have just got how weird that is. My cakes are of course amazing and no one can say no to a piece wink

Treague2 Mon 19-Aug-13 13:59:38

Oh I'm sad now, there are some really nice things that you lot are missing out on.
Pot luck picnics for one! Unless you happen to know some particularly minging people?

specialsubject Mon 19-Aug-13 13:59:57

regardless of the fear, please don't waste food. It is not rude to say 'no thank you, I've just had lunch' and that way good food doesn't end up in the bin.

every time you eat in a restaurant the food has been touched many times. The fancier and fussier the dish, the more it has been arranged. They should be conforming to food hygiene standards of course.

MrsBri Mon 19-Aug-13 14:03:09

I've never even considered there to be a hazard before now, so I suppose YABU. I also love cake. :-)

But on the other hand I can't stand touching foam or terracotta. Urgh.

FondantNancy Mon 19-Aug-13 14:05:09

"YABU to be more worried about your friends cooking than eating in a restaurant."

This. I used to work in a reputable restaurant. The stuff I saw would put you off restaurants for life. The two pot washers playing catch with a steak just before it went on the plate is one of the more repeatable stories I could tell you.

diddl Mon 19-Aug-13 14:07:22

this is how we do bday candles in Germany.

No spit on cake!

xuntitledx Mon 19-Aug-13 14:07:32

I'm the same and the thing is with me is that I bake often and bring things into work for my colleagues however I know my hygiene standards and am a bit of a clean fiend.

There's another avid baker that I work with and I once saw a picture that she had posted on Facebook which showed the state of her oven and I honestly that didn't help the fear!

themaltesefalcon I am with you on the towel biting thing, I heave just thinking about it. Yuck!

ilovemulberry Mon 19-Aug-13 14:10:46

I'm worse with foods, my family have chickens but I can't bring myself to eat the eggs!! I have an issue with eating food grown in peoples gardens too!!! I know, I'm mad!

FayeKorgasm Mon 19-Aug-13 14:12:26

OP I'm the same, but I don't like cake anyway, so I use that as an excuse.

I cant do buffets/salad bars and the like either.

I'm not odd honestly. grin

SPBisResisting Mon 19-Aug-13 14:14:48

You lot must be great fun at dinner parties grin

PocketFluff Mon 19-Aug-13 14:19:00

There was something on the radio a while back about a lad whose family had a birthday potato. They stuck candles in the potato, blew them out and then ate the unspat on cake.

It wasn't until he was older that he realised this wasn't the norm!

Amrapaali Mon 19-Aug-13 14:19:17

Aaah! I am in heaven. I keep finding kindred spirits on MN for much of my silliness. This thread is brilliant!

And oh YANBU. I hate other people food. Cooked and served right then, I can just about eat. But wrapped in foil or spooned into Tupperware containers, yuck no!

Very irrational, but there you go....

Lweji Mon 19-Aug-13 14:22:06

YABU, of course.

But as phobias go, it's not that bad, and it doesn't harm other people, so your problem.

catsmother Mon 19-Aug-13 14:22:14

Wow - I'm really surprised so many people are freaked by this. Obviously - if someone looks rather grubby and/or their food containers look none too clean, it's understandable to feel a bit "urrgghh" and make your excuses but surely most people who've gone to the bother of making a homemade dish for others to enjoy have been generous both in terms of their time and money, and if they have a generous caring kind of nature it's unlikely that they'd then be slapdash about hygiene. Maybe I've just been lucky to come across decent bakers at work etc but the vast majority of homemade cake tastes much better than most shop bought stuff and my own cakes certainly are!.

Amrapaali Mon 19-Aug-13 14:25:24

An acquaintance bakes such lovely cakes and the decorations are out of this world. After much hesitation and clamping down my natural gag reflex, I bit into a slice and it tasted eggy...! sad

Just goes to show I am not that irrational after all... grin

haggisaggis Mon 19-Aug-13 14:31:56

My dh is like this - he puts it down been dragged round random relatives houses as a child and expected to eat whatever he was given no matter the state of the house. He does et my mother's cooking though - but would not eat anything from a cake stall. And ds does not even bother to offer us any of his school made delights. (mind you - he usually won't eat them either!)

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 19-Aug-13 14:32:49

YA all DNBU - simply because it means more yummy home made cake for me on office birthdays. (Though given the cake consumption of my colleagues, I think it's safe to say none of you works here).

I'm not overly obsessed with hygiene or germs

Yes you are!

Fairylea Mon 19-Aug-13 14:39:32

I'm the same. And I would struggle to eat anything someone else cooked for me, even dinner, without feeling a bit queasy wondering if they had washed their hands, washed everything properly etc.

But I think some of that comes from being a restaurant manager for half my life. I've seen some awful things and many people, even those who work in kitchens, seem to have completely different ideas about what is acceptable hygiene wise!

I've never been able to relax since. My dh laughs at me about it.

MooncupGoddess Mon 19-Aug-13 14:42:18

Gosh, I'd eat home-baked cake over shop-bought pretty much every time... almost all shop cakes are repulsively sweet and full of nasty additives, so they have that slightly tinny taste.

I am the opposite of a hygiene freak, though, and don't worry about anything apart from meat/fish that has been left out in the warm too long.

Shrugged Mon 19-Aug-13 14:45:34

Thinking about this with my armchair psychologist hat on, it looks to me to be about being unable to forget or ignore the hands and bodies etc that have preceded you in touching this food item in certain situations.

It's harder to ignore that someone else made, breathed on and handled this when it is home made and is brought in a Tupperware box from a home kitchen. It's easier to ignore it in a restaurant, when you don't know or see most of the people handling your food, and it's presented in a standardised and formal way.

It's like people who will happily eat chicken nuggets in a bag from the supermarket but who would gag at a rare steak/ killing their own meat/ doing anything that makes them think about the animal and slaughter process.

cory Mon 19-Aug-13 14:45:49

I had a friend who worked in a well known cake factory.

You don't want me to tell you, do you...?

Trills Mon 19-Aug-13 14:50:16

Yes, you are.

chocoluvva Mon 19-Aug-13 14:50:41

That's a shame OP.

I hope she didn't spot it in the bin though.

SomethingOnce Mon 19-Aug-13 14:54:08

You have an immune system and it likes a workout.

Please get a grip and FFS do not put cake in the bin! That is wrong, wrong, wrong! smile

badguider Mon 19-Aug-13 14:55:01

Wow! I can't believe how many people prefer shop-bought than homemade baked stuff!! shock

Shop-bought cakes don't taste right, they have the wrong texture, they're full of preservatives and the sugar doesn't carmelise the way it should...

I think it's sad that so many people's irrational fear of germs means they eat processed stuff rather than pure home baking sad

everlong Mon 19-Aug-13 14:55:28

If I know them and how hygienic they are I will gladly eat their food.

Tbh I think you should be more concerned about restaurant food.

I've heard some horrible stories.

Shrugged Mon 19-Aug-13 15:01:39

Cory, tell us about the well-known cake factory. Does Mr Kipling not wash his hands when he goes for a pee???

prepares to be horrified

FrauMoose Mon 19-Aug-13 15:02:02

We are living in a society where - increasingly - low paid workers are having to go to food banks for charitable handouts, as a result of the rising cost of essential items.

There are plenty of people who just can't afford to have these sorts of 'fears', around perfectly good food.

Also while it is perfectly sensible to take hygiene precautions in relation to certain foodstuffs - e.g. making sure chicken is properly cooked - cake is not exactly a high-risk foodstuff.

Tryharder Mon 19-Aug-13 15:03:47

I think you are being a tad precious.

However, when we did a everyone bring in a dish lunch at work, I have to admit avoiding the sandwiches made by one particular colleague. I once looked after her cats when she was on holiday and went into her house daily to feed them. I couldn't believe the state of the place; car crap everywhere, cat litter everywhere, it was Kim and Aggie style filthy.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 19-Aug-13 15:04:48

Home baked is sooooooooooooooooo much nicer than shop bought over-sweet-full-of-air-and-additives-to-keep-it-fresh-for-a-month crap....

I have waitressed in a "posh" restaurant too - much rather have home made than eat out... MUCH rather......

it was the day the "kitchen boy" used a teatowel to wipe round the bin before the big pots that made me leave (and heave!!! - lunch was free)

quoteunquote Mon 19-Aug-13 15:08:51

Go back packing around Asia, when you get back, you will no longer find anything a challenge to eat.

In the mean time, stop wasting food, politely say no, or tell people you have issues with food, so they don't waste time, energy, and money making you any.

Chivetalking Mon 19-Aug-13 15:20:40

I haven't done restaurants in years thanks to various docu-horrors. Never did kids birthday cakes either due to saliva factor and only do buffets when I've either elbowed everyone out of the way so I'm first in the queue or can carefully choose from the dishes at the back as they're less likely to have been snorked and snotted over.

Am adding other people's home-cooked food to the list as I type grin

FrauMoose Mon 19-Aug-13 15:28:15

I'm relatively new to Mumsnet. It may be that I'm just looking at a small selection of threads by a small selection of posters.

But there seems to be a huge fear of contamination. Via this board I have learned about a widespread fear of public toilets with lots of hovering above seats going on. Many people are convinced that unless everyone removes shoes on entering a home, then major pollution is taking place. And now there seems to be a widespread sense that it is dangerous to eat any food unless it is factory-processed or made by the poster herself.

The world seems to be a very very scary place. It must be quite hard to bring up healthy confident children when feeling so scared.

(My mother has some obsessions around cleaning, which made my childhood home a rather tense and uncomfortable environment. This might be why these threads make me feel rather sad.)

PeriodMath Mon 19-Aug-13 15:30:37

MadeofStarDust, surely it depends who's doing the baking?

I've had amazing cakes from supermarkets. Fiona Cairns for Waitrose are utterly delicious. There's no way you could make better wink

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 19-Aug-13 15:36:27

If you don't want it, just say no. Throwing food into the bin as just stupid and wasteful.
"No thank you. I'm fasting/coeliac/off sugar/don't like cake" would be a much nicer and less wasteful response.

Lweji Mon 19-Aug-13 15:39:34

Home baked is sooooooooooooooooo much nicer than shop bought over-sweet-full-of-air-and-additives-to-keep-it-fresh-for-a-month crap

If properly baked not by my SIL.

wishingchair Mon 19-Aug-13 15:40:16

Cory tell tell tell!!!

OP - yes you're irrational and a bit odd ... haven't you heard about people spitting in food/drinks in restaurants and cafes??? But I'm sure you'd find me odd!

I'd much rather have home made than shop bought processed artificial rubbish. I'm not obsessive at all about that kind of stuff ... don't hover on toilet seats, have a dog, let the DCs eat food if they drop it on the floor (not only if they drop it on the floor ... I mean I don't make them bin it!) ... but I do wash hands after going to the loo and before cooking. We all have good consitution and aren't ill often. Good friend is mental about it and her kids are always ill. Could be coincidence, but a doctor once told me that if a person is in a too clean environment and doesn't get germs for their immune system to fight, it starts to attack itself hence auto-immune diseases.

cory come back and tell us. Shop bought cakes have been made by someone... not a robot. Maybe a 'someone' who didn't wash their hands and forgot to put their very thin blue gloves on. I would much rather eat something made in a home kitchen than anything made in a big factory. I've seen pics of factories that make sandwiches, pies, ready meals etc and honestly, I bet at least one of the people on the production line had picked their nose, scratched their ear, had a cold, or wafted a stray hair into the mix!

Plus as my grandmother used to say, 'You have to eat a peck of dirt'. There's nothing wrong with the odd well-behaved germ here and there.

BistoBear Mon 19-Aug-13 15:42:24

I can't eat other people's fruit.

Chottie Mon 19-Aug-13 15:43:21

OP thank you for posting this. I can't eat other people's food at work either. There are always cakes doing the rounds, I take a piece put it in kitchen towel in my drawer 'for later' and then dispose of it. I realise this is a waste, but at work you need to be tactful and considerate of other people's feelings.

When you work closely with people you really get to know their hygiene standards or lack of them

Procrastinating Mon 19-Aug-13 15:44:23

I'm the same as you OP.
I think it is because eating someone else's food is so intimate somehow, but that isn't enough of an explanation for how revolted I feel. It is nothing to do with germs either and I have worked in a cake factory so I know what goes on.

FrauMoose Mon 19-Aug-13 15:46:54

a doctor once told me that if a person is in a too clean environment and doesn't get germs for their immune system to fight, it starts to attack itself hence auto-immune diseases.

I have also heard that given as an explanation for the rise in asthma, allergies etc

Stuff we can't do so much about - for example the additives in petrol which are in the air we breathe - may be doing us a lot more harm than some home-baked biscuit from a kitchen which hasn't been doused in Dettol.

Lweji Mon 19-Aug-13 15:47:20

So many people with forms of cibophobia! Amazing.

frogwatcher42 Mon 19-Aug-13 15:48:47

Oh God, I would much rather eat homemade than anything shop bought (although I do eat both!). I have previously worked in catering for too many years and unfortunately heard about some of the 'accidents' that happen in restaurants (feel like retching just thinking about it), and the simple unhygienic practices carried out in commercial kitchens sometimes.

Maybe things are better now (I haven't worked in a kitchen for many years) - I hope so. I do sometimes struggle to eat out if I start thinking about it. But will happily accept homemade things as I don't think the person would add any extras on purpose!!!!.

Floggingmolly Mon 19-Aug-13 15:52:19

A colleague I worked with years ago saw fit to charm everybody hmm with the tale of how cute her cat looked sleeping on top of the cake we were all enjoying at the time. Apparently the little rascal always chose the warmest spot in the house for his naps.
I was sitting there with a mouthful of the stuff at the time; nearly broke the land speed record in my race to the loo.
I've never eaten anything homemade since.

motherinferior Mon 19-Aug-13 15:56:34

You lost me at the refusing home made cake.

Yes, you are definitely unreasonable. You seem to have your phobia fairly well under control but frankly I think quite a lot of people on this thread probably could do with a bit of help.

quesadilla Mon 19-Aug-13 15:57:07

Sorry but this is quite unhealthily neurotic IMHO. And irrational. You are just as likely to get sick from restaurant food. Don't you worry about passing this attitude on to your dcs?

silversmith Mon 19-Aug-13 15:58:09

If you feel like this about other people's homemade goodies, please tell them that you don't want any, and explain that it's your issue. Otherwise you'll keep throwing away lovely cake which other people would enjoy. And once people realise that you don't eat anything from a kitchen you haven't checked & approved, they'll stop offering and you can stop wasting cake.

(Another person constantly astonished by the germ-phobia on mumsnet & wondering how any of you ever go for a day out)

gettngbetter Mon 19-Aug-13 15:58:57

I'm not afraid of germs or getting ill from the food. I don't use anti-bacterial sprays in my home - I think soap & water is enough to clean most things.

I was in a cafe the other day waiting in line to buy something and a lady in front of me had taken a cake from the stand and placed it on her tray. She briefly touched it with her hand. Then she changed her mind and put it back on the stand. I felt a bit sick. It wasn't because I thought there was germs on the food or that I'd get food poisoning if I ate it - it was just the thought of her fingers being on it.

The cake was probably handled lots of times in the kitchen before being put in display but I somehow put that out of my mind and pretend to myself it was always just sitting on the shelt

silversmith Mon 19-Aug-13 16:04:17

Well, whatever the fear is - germs/fingers/whatever, tell the bakers about your problem, then you won't have to deal with it any more. Or see someone about the problem if you'd prefer to get over it and enjoy office treats.

ThursdayLast Mon 19-Aug-13 16:04:31

Very unreasonable I think.
And quite rude.

Like other posters have said, what's the use in having an immune system if you don't use it?!

And just WHAT do you think other people do to food before they offer it to you?!

How do you survive dinner parties?

MooncupGoddess Mon 19-Aug-13 16:05:00

'But there seems to be a huge fear of contamination.'

YY. It's really odd as we live in probably the most hygienic society in living memory.

onlysettleforbutterflies Mon 19-Aug-13 16:05:36

When we have a bake sale at work I tuck in but must admit I do steer clear of bakers with multiple pets, I know how hard it is to contain pet hair that's I don't bake and buy shop cake instead.

gettngbetter Mon 19-Aug-13 16:09:34

I don't worry about passing this fear on to my DC's - when we're out and home-made cakes are offered to us then I feed it to them to avoid eating it myself!

Chottie Mon 19-Aug-13 16:10:51

Ok, I accept I am being unreasonable, but I just do not care. I want to feel comfortable at work and just get on with my job and not have to eat unwanted, unasked for cake

<<dons tin hat and retreats under the bed prior to flamenumi>>

FrauMoose Mon 19-Aug-13 16:12:54

There's also some reassurance in that your digestive system is actually extremely good at getting rid of any food which is not quite as it should be. While the odd bout of nausea or a stomach upset is not hugely enjoyable, the body is a wonderful piece of design. After the very occasional day of weak tea and dry toast, I find my appetite for food - of all kinds, from everywhere - is undiminished.

pigletmania Mon 19-Aug-13 16:14:03

You do sound like you have a bit of a phobia.

Squitten Mon 19-Aug-13 16:17:54

YABVU to throw cake in the bin! By all means, refuse to eat it if you don't want to but I would be mightily offended if someone took my cooked food and just dumped it in the bin. Just say No Thank You!

movingonandup Mon 19-Aug-13 16:24:56

I have this too - it is a phobia and, although the consequences of it may appear rude to others, you cannot help it anymore than people with other phobias can control them just to be polite.

For me, I know logically restaurant staff are probably badly paid and not totally hygienic even if they are trained to be. However, it is homemade stuff that gives me the shudders.

It is a combination of people who don't have dishwashers (I just can't think of something as being properly clean if its been sloshed around in tepid water with a load of dirty other things) and people having pets (even if they are strict about keeping the animals out of the kitchen - and most of them aren't - there's still pet hair floating about and they're more likely to touch the pet and then the food without thinking).

I cannot eat from buffets either although would happily eat the exact same food if served up on plates. It is the people picking over it aspect that gets me.

I don't rationally think I will drop down dead from tepid-washing-up-germs or single-hair-from-a-cat-germs or sneezed-on-at-a-buffet-germs but the very idea of it leaves me so cold I physically couldn’t eat it.

PeriodMath Mon 19-Aug-13 16:31:13

Ugh, the thought of eating food prepared in a home with pets turns my stomach too. Growing up, I used to watch the neighbour's cat (from my bedroom window) prowling up and down her kitchen work-tops. Gross.

Lweji Mon 19-Aug-13 16:32:37

when we're out and home-made cakes are offered to us then I feed it to them to avoid eating it myself!

Nice! wink

Nanny0gg Mon 19-Aug-13 16:35:43

We often had lunches in the staffroom or evening get-togethers or picnics where we would all bring a plate of something. It was delicious! And some of my colleagues were brilliant cake-makers. No-one died. No-one even felt a little queasy (except from perhaps eating too much!)

I think today's over-obsession with extreme hygiene means some of you are really missing out. In fact, I'd never heard of anyone feeling like this before I read this thread.

<hunts around for a set of grips to give out>

FrauMoose Mon 19-Aug-13 16:35:52

However much people may be 'controlled' by such fears, it is nevertheleess very much a first world problem. While reading this thread I have been thinking about my great-aunt, who was an inmate in a concentration camp where the minimal rations meant that people were malnourished. There a willingness to barter for food, and to eat a scrap off food even if it had fallen on the floor, would be essential if you hoped to survive.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 19-Aug-13 16:36:05

hahaha... the dishwasher v washing up thing - you do know that most commercial dishwashers use a tank system and reuse the dirty water numerous times in one wash.... The only one that doesn't is the Miele ...

so all those dishes are washed up in dirty water .....

YABU. Not really normal. Sounds neurotic to me.

GrendelsMum Mon 19-Aug-13 16:41:02

I suspect a friend has the same phobia, although he's never come out and said as much. Based on this, I'd say it's easier all round to come straight out, at least to close friends, and explain to people that you don't eat home cooked food. It's much nicer to explain that you won't go to someone's house because of a phobia than to keep coming up with excuses rather than go to social events.

It's not rational, but then the whole point of phobias is that they aren't rational.

movingonandup Mon 19-Aug-13 16:43:30

MadeofStarDust that's the thing about phobias though - they aren't rational. You could do bacterial swabs on dishwasher-ed verses hand washed plates and I'd still prefer dishwasher-ed ones regardless of the scientific outcome or germ count per cm squared.

Having witnessed some people wash up (plates and cutlery barely scraped let alone rinsed sloshed around for a nano second in tepid water and dabbed at with a cloth that's been sat on the side for months and is also used for wiping down surfaces) puts me off

Whereas dishwasher'ed plates come out clean and dry and reassuringly scalding hot. It isn't logic - they just feel cleaner.

expatinscotland Mon 19-Aug-13 16:45:22

You are weird.

Mintyy Mon 19-Aug-13 16:45:42

Yes, you do know its not normal to feel as you do, don't you op?

Don't you ever go to other people's houses to eat?? shock

What a restricted life you must lead.

quesadilla Mon 19-Aug-13 16:45:56

I accept that this is a phobia and I know how hard these can be: I suffer from at least two myself.

So maybe this just sounds really nasty. But there's something about this particular one which is a) so antisocial and mean-minded and b) so decadent (I hate the phrase "first world problems but this is a textbook example) that I would make a point of getting it sorted, I think.

SomethingOnce Mon 19-Aug-13 16:46:43

MadeOfStarDust, what?! That's gross! Tell me there's a final rinse with fresh boiling water or steam!

(I take back my earlier post about OP needing to get a grip and immune systems.)

MadeOfStarDust Mon 19-Aug-13 16:49:12

I know, phobias aren't ever logical, but I'm the one who cleans the dishwasher filter in our house - and even though it is done every week, the grease and gunk just makes me want to heave...-

so when I load it I use the hot tap first to clean the plates and pots at least... not very environmentally friendly..... hubby just gets rid of any obvious muck and chucks the stuff in the dishwasher..

TheWickerWoman Mon 19-Aug-13 16:49:58

Mine isnt to do with germs and hygiene, I can't speak for others, I know I won't get ill from eating others cooking and I know it will have been cooked in a cleaner environment than places I will eat from. I cannot explain what it is, someone earlier mentioned it being 'too intimate' that's the closest I can get to explaining it.

I am also the same in sandwich shops, if I see them preparing the sandwiches it puts me off although I will eat it if its already been made and in the chiller cabinet.

GrendelsMum Mon 19-Aug-13 16:53:08

I think it's also something to do with control, as well, based on my friend? He seems to get very stressed by the idea that we will offer food and he has to accept it without knowing what it's going to be. I think he feels much more in control in a chain restaurant that offers food he's comfortable with and where he makes the choice.

movingonandup Mon 19-Aug-13 16:56:15

I've had mine since childhood so I certainly don't do this to annoy anyone or upset anyone or be mean minded or anti social. It is a genuine phobia just as horror of a spider would be natural to someone terrified of spiders. It isn't a preference or a judgement on other people, it is a irrational fear that I cannot control.

I am however very good at hiding it. Only my closest friends and family know - some other people may suspect I am always on a diet or that I don't like cakes or that I don't eat much but they wouldn't know that I am phobic about their home baking / pets / lack of dishwasher.

And for those who say about passing it on to DCs, I am not sure how that directly that association works because nobody else in my family is at all weird about these things and I grew up in a house with pets and a fairly healthy (well I'd say lax) attitude to food prep! It isn't something I picked up from anyone else but it is something I have felt and been very aware of since I was very young. Nobody really knew then either as I couldn't articulate it - they assumed I was a fussy eater.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 19-Aug-13 17:05:27

SomethingOnce with commercial dishwashers there is a final fresh rinse.. but here is the general gist - of the dishwashers in most restaurants/canteens etc....

"Commercial dishwashers often have significantly different plumbing and operations than a home unit, in that there are often separate spray arms for washing and rinsing/sanitizing. The wash water is heated with an in-tank electric heat element and mixed with a cleaning solution, and is used repeatedly from one load to the next. The wash tank usually has a large strainer basket to collect food debris, and the strainer may not be emptied until the end of the day's kitchen operations.

Water used for rinsing and sanitizing is generally delivered directly through water supply, and is not reusable. The used rinse water falls into the wash tank reservoir, which dilutes some of the used wash water and causes a small amount to drain out through an overflow tube."

So that dirty crappy water is then reused to "wash" the next load....

Now - thinking about the home environment - the water is reused throughout the wash - but then fresh water is used to rinse - through the same spray arm that the crappy water has been circulating.... (hence sometimes the holes in the arms get blocked..)

I'm not really that keen on dishwashers... but too lazy to do the washing up.....

FairPhyllis Mon 19-Aug-13 17:05:54

Having suffered from disordered eating when I was younger, I find it very stressful to be offered food and be expected to eat it on the spot, so I would say yanbu.

I will sometimes eat food offered, but I prefer to be given some private space to make up my mind if I feel ok eating it. To be presented with something and have someone stand over you like a hawk is horrible. And most people eventually get offended or think you're really stand offish if you keep refusing their food, so you do feel obliged to eat something at some point.

It's pretty rude and very very precious. Huge grip required I think.

And it you refused my cake because you were questioning my hygiene, however subtly you think you're doing it, you'd be safe from then on in because I'd never offer you anything again ever.

dirtyface Mon 19-Aug-13 17:11:23

ha i am the same

unless its something like frozen pizza which needs minimal touching

and <vom> at thought of eating anything my kids have made at school. NO just no

SomethingOnce Mon 19-Aug-13 17:11:52

Thanks for clarifying, MadeOfStarDust. As long as there's a fresh rinse, I can just about live with the swill.

[resolves not to dwell on it]

Preferthedogtothekids Mon 19-Aug-13 17:12:48

I'm more likely to live longer by eating other people's home cooking than my own...

FairPhyllis Mon 19-Aug-13 17:15:47

I'm astonished at how many people are being unsympathetic about this tbh. It's not a personal slight on anyone's home cooking. OP obviously has anxiety/phobia that happens to manifest itself in this particular way.

I suppose someone will be along to tell me that anxiety/phobia/eating disorders are being precious and first world problems and we should just all get a grip. ffs.

jamdonut Mon 19-Aug-13 17:16:18

Ohhh...I don't know what some of you would do if you worked in a school and had to bake and be seen to eat the biscuits/cakes etc that we make as part of lessons sometimes!! I think my immune system is pretty good,on the whole,probably due to the large amount of germs I get exposed to daily!grin

And I would love to own a dishwasher,but the chances of me ever affording one are very slim.sad

I am not clean freak,but maintain a reasonable standard of washing hands often and using different chopping boards etc. But I have pets,so it is possible a stray hair may occasionally accidentally find its way into something.I definitely do not allow my cat to ever go on the kitchen counter or any tables. However, he has been know to manage to open the fridge...then run away and let the dog take the blame!!

exoticfruits Mon 19-Aug-13 17:21:56

MN is always a revelation to me- it makes it endlessly fascinating!

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 19-Aug-13 17:25:44


specialsubject Mon 19-Aug-13 17:27:53

nobody is questioning a possible mental problem. But there is an easy solution, the three words 'no thank you'. No details required.

no-one was pressuring her to eat it.

movingonandup Mon 19-Aug-13 17:28:20

I am sad that so many people are unsympathetic or take it personally. I am actually glad I’ve never bothered to explain and will stick to my diet / allergy / not hungry excuses.
If one of your friend's was agoraphobic would you call them selfish, anti social and precious?
Would you ridicule them that they're just as likely to come to harm staying cooped up at home as if they went outside and got some exercise? Would you tell them how unhealthy or weird they are?

It is the same thing. It can be a very extreme phobia / anxiety / disorder that makes rational debate futile because it is so deep seated. It isn't a judgement on other people's cupcakes FFS!

motherinferior Mon 19-Aug-13 17:36:02

Well, it is unreasonable. It's a phobia. That's what phobias are.

I am phobic about heights and bridges. I am totally unreasonable about them. But I do realise that it's unreasonable.

GrendelsMum Mon 19-Aug-13 17:37:38

MovingOnAndUp - in our case, the problem is that our friend has never explained that he has a problem eating food that other people have cooked. He makes repeated excuses so as not to come to our house instead, which is why it could have been upsetting. It's the avoiding spending time with us which is difficult, not that he doesn't eat our food. If he had explained, we would have got it straight away. Does that make sense?

(Of course, I may have guessed wrongly and it may be that he has a different phobia, it may be some other form of eating disorder, or he really is trying to avoid DH and me).

motherinferior Mon 19-Aug-13 17:39:39

What is also unreasonable is justifying a phobia as reasonable. There are some clearly phobic people on any washing thread (the ones who insist on washing their hands after putting washing in the machine) who don't seem to appreciate that they are, er, a bit over the top...

slightlysoupstained Mon 19-Aug-13 17:39:42

Those of you bleating on about first world problems, getting a grip, etc really don't get it.

If someone close to you has had food anxiety, then you might realise that YES, you fuckwits, it is entirely possible and LIKELY for someone with an anxiety/phobia/OCD/whatever to just starve rather than eat whatever is triggering the anxiety.

Oh, and for your information, people in developing countries also have anxieties, phobias etc.

FrauMoose Mon 19-Aug-13 17:44:59

The thing about the way eating food that other people have personally cooked feeling too intimate is interesting. People in this situation are saying they will a) eat food that they personally have prepared and b) highly processed food from a production line that also feels more 'untouched.'

For me the analogy would be people who are happy to have sex by themselves and/or with commercial sex workers. But not with anybody else who they actually know....

Which is why this phobia feels so weird. For me the sensual pleasure of food is so tied up with the sharing, the intimacy, what people do for one another.

To be unable to eat food that one's own children have made - and want to give you - would be unspeakably sad.

Treague2 Mon 19-Aug-13 17:46:58

Totally agree with Motherinferior.
It's not unreasonable in a 'get a grip of yourself' sort of way, but it worries me that lots of you are trying to normalise this.
Fair enough if you are dealing with your phobia/disorder/whatever but please do recognise it for what it is.

PhallicGiraffe Mon 19-Aug-13 17:50:10

What a bunch of weirdos. I'd choose home cooked over factory produced anyday. The amount of crap that goes into commercial food is outrageous!

movingonandup Mon 19-Aug-13 17:57:07

FrauMoose That analogy perhaps illustrates that people with phobias view food differently to you. The way I feel about food is a one-off. I don't feel the same uneasiness about any other aspect of life. I am fine with heights and spiders and snakes. Food and sex. Food and socks. Food and spiders. Totally unrelated to each other in my funny-phobic mind!

I do think that is why some people are so hostile to those with food related phobias though. People who equate food with love might see people who have a problem with food as having a problem with love or friendship. Whereas people with phobias just don’t see it that way.

The thought of eating food that children had made - well it is unthinkable unless I had personally supervised the hand washing and prevented head scratching and nose wiping. I physically couldn't do it. I am sure some poor child wouldn’t want to witness me gagging on their cookies anyway! I don't see that as sad because I don't want to be able to eat food poked at by children. Just as I might say it is unspeakably sad to be so scared of heights that you'll never know the thrill of abseiling or bungee jumping. Some people are more than happy to forego things in life that don’t appeal to them – they don’t feel sad about it at all.

SockPinchingMonster Mon 19-Aug-13 17:58:15

I'd be more worried about factory produced cakes/breads/biscuits to be honest. A family member used to work for a major bread producer and told me some of the disgusting things the factory workers used to do in the bread mix. Similarly my college tutor used to work at a biscuit factory and told the class that the same thing used to happen in the biscuit mix. In all honesty you are safer eating someone's home baked cake.

frogwatcher42 Mon 19-Aug-13 18:00:59

SockPinchingMonster - did it involve various human secretions from different areas of the body by any chance????

petitdonkey Mon 19-Aug-13 18:05:57

I wouldn't say that I have a phobia and will happily eat cakes made by my friends and family but (and now I'm going to upset lots of people) when I was a teacher I would never eat something homemade by a child or his/her parents. I had one exception but the mum was a school cook and used to bring in a massive tray of white cake with white icing and sprinkles.....

I think that I am a decent baker and my hygiene is excellent but I have never sent anything homemade into a class teacher as it seems like a waste. (I was by NO means the only teacher that would chuck stuff) Maybe it's different if you teach in a naice middle-class school but, where I worked, no way. <<<waits for flaming and pelting with homemade fudge>>>

SomethingOnce Mon 19-Aug-13 18:12:06

Ok, I'll say it.

Middle class people can have unhygienic homes.
Many non-MC people have hygienic homes.

Bloody hell.

pigletmania Mon 19-Aug-13 18:13:09

It was a waste of cake though, ou should have given it to someone and said that your jst not hungry

SockPinchingMonster Mon 19-Aug-13 18:13:52

Frogwatcher - Oh yes, various types of disgusting secretions, makes me feel sick just thinking about the things I have been told goes on in food factories. Give me someone's home baking any day.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 18:55:21

I can't understand why you would feed it to your kids if you refuse to eat it yourself.

You are worried about hygiene and getting ill from eating something someone else has made, but you don't mind risking the kids getting ill?

You wont eat something someone has made, but will eat something from a restaurant, takeaway, cafe or a ready made sandwich, mcdonalds, KFC etc etc...

I know someone who works in a place catering for airline food - NEVER eat it.

I also know someone who used to make pre made sandwiches - the horror stories are true

I wont go into what goes into curries..I'll leave that to your imagination.

In short, you are more at risk in your average food joint, than you will ever be in a scruffy home kitchen.

Procrastinating Mon 19-Aug-13 18:57:19

I would (and do) feed it to my children because I know my disgust is irrational. It is nothing to do with hygiene for me.

FourGates Mon 19-Aug-13 19:00:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exoticfruits Mon 19-Aug-13 19:01:50

I'd be more worried about factory produced cakes/breads/biscuits to be honest. A family member used to work for a major bread producer and told me some of the disgusting things the factory workers used to do in the bread mix. Similarly my college tutor used to work at a biscuit factory and told the class that the same thing used to happen in the biscuit mix. In all honesty you are safer eating someone's home baked cake.

I always think the same, but I suppose it is an irrational fear and not based on any logic.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 19-Aug-13 19:04:39

YANBU... It always tastes strange

I only eat at my mums house. Never ever at anyone else's though!

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 19-Aug-13 19:06:59


Weirdo. But you knew that anyway.

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 19-Aug-13 19:12:26

Totally weird but at least the OP is polite about it in public. What do you do if you're invited out to lunch/supper/dinner OP? Bet you are too precious to touch actual real meat too.

HAve you ever eaten a pot noodle? If you have - get a grip.

frogwatcher42 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:15:31

Sock and Farrow - its awful isn't it. What do they do with airline food - I haven't heard that one before - is it not all pre-made?.

I wish I hadn't got involved in this thread as thinking about all the awful stuff such as that we mentioned up thread has put me off anything in my cupboards. It took me a while to get over it when I first knew about it years ago - I wouldn't eat out for ages.

I would so much rather eat home prep food. More so now I have been reminded of what can end up in bought.

valiumredhead Mon 19-Aug-13 19:17:15

Restaurant kitchens are vile, if you eat out normally you are being precious about home cooked good.

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 19:19:42

Frog, just trust me on this one. It's premade yes, that's where he was working, in the place that makes it.

frogwatcher42 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:20:45

Farrow Oh. Just tell me - top end or bottom end addition, if you get what I mean. I think i could cope with one better than the other!!!!!

MrsLouisTheroux Mon 19-Aug-13 19:22:54

A number of my old friends worked in factories during the summer when we were students.
They had some stories to tell. Frozen veg, biscuits, sausage rolls, pasties and cereal are all on the 'don't ever eat list' according to them!!

I happily munch away on pretty much anything apart from home cooking.
Food from my family, cafes, restaurants yes, friends, colleagues no.
I don't know why either!

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 19:24:10

Both..on a regular basis...vomit once or twice if there was a hangover involved. ..but "it's ok, it'll be all cooked off" according to the manager.

It makes me laugh that electrical items are condemmed on the spot for insurance companies if there was even a risk of bodily fluids being involved..but food....

daisychain01 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:27:55

My cooking always has that effect on people envy - ho-hum ...

Retroformica Mon 19-Aug-13 19:33:10

I think it's bonkers! In see people are extra hygienic knowing they don't want to poison anyone. But also the oven heats to 180c and that will kill anything!

beepoff Mon 19-Aug-13 19:36:45

I can't bear home made labels, on food or anything else. Especially if they get a bit wet and the ink starts running... I feel sick just typing this.

But YABU OP if you ever, ever eat a ready meal or pretty much any prepared or canned food from a supermarket. I went to a food factory once and it put me off for a very very long time.

frogwatcher42 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:43:28

Farrow - that's disgusting. I have heard about most additions but not vomit.

I purposefully am always really really nice to waiters and waitresses regardless of how good or bad they are!!!

My BIL is an extreme version of you. When he comes to visit I leave an unopened packet of cream crackers on the dinner table. It is the only thing he will eat.

It's hard not to be offended. It's a bit like someone telling you your house is filthy sad

farrowandbawl Mon 19-Aug-13 19:55:35

It was only a small amount but that's still way too much.

Poppyhat Mon 19-Aug-13 21:33:10

Ilovemulberry ... I just skipped over four pages because I had to tell you I am exactly the same ! Fresh farm eggs? No thank you . And veg out of a garden ,ugh .and I'm from the country , you would think I should know better :-) love my eggs and veg ,but from a shop please.( I know how odd this makes me,but that's just the way it is)

5Foot5 Mon 19-Aug-13 22:14:04

Ilovemulberry ... I just skipped over four pages because I had to tell you I am exactly the same ! Fresh farm eggs? No thank you . And veg out of a garden ,ugh .and I'm from the country , you would think I should know better :-) love my eggs and veg ,but from a shop please.( I know how odd this makes me,but that's just the way it is)

But, but. Where do you think the eggs and veg come from before they get in to the shop?

pongping Mon 19-Aug-13 23:32:10

The more I've had to do with the cooking process, the harder I find things to eat - does anyone get that?

And don't get me started on home grown or foraged foods - I find them really hard to eat. Which is totally ridiculous and irrational. I'd love to know the basis for this aversion; and I'd love to get over it. I couldn't eat any of the strawberries we grew in the garden this year, for example!

pongping Mon 19-Aug-13 23:33:00

The more I've had to do with the cooking process, the harder I find things to eat - does anyone get that?

And don't get me started on home grown or foraged foods - I find them really hard to eat. Which is totally ridiculous and irrational. I'd love to know the basis for this aversion, and I'd love to get over it. I couldn't eat any of the strawberries we grew in the garden this year, for example!

pongping Mon 19-Aug-13 23:33:27

Whoops blush

Poppyhat Mon 19-Aug-13 23:34:21

Glad it's not just me :-)

Silverfoxballs Mon 19-Aug-13 23:36:38

I can eat food made by others but cannot stand people passing me food in their hands. I also don't like people passing a cup when they have held it by the rim as opposed to the handle.

Monty27 Mon 19-Aug-13 23:38:56


I wouldn't eat anything that was grown in the ground until I was 19 grin. (Germs, worms, creatures etc). I have grown up a bit since then.

I empathise with anyone who has a problem with eating something that that they don't know has been hygiencally prepared.



Coconutty Mon 19-Aug-13 23:45:39

When I watch Come dine with me, I couldn't eat food from half of their kitchens.

I always chose shop bought cakes at a cake sale too.

Morloth Mon 19-Aug-13 23:51:57

I wouldn't mind if someone simply declined.

However it is very rude and wasteful to take a piece and bin it.

I could have eaten that!

Personally, I will eat pretty much anything and am one of those 'robust good health' people, who wipe the dirt off and munch on. If it passes the sniff test then I am eating it.

What people eat/don't eat is none of my business IMO, don't care.

But don't throw away perfectly good food that somebody else could have enjoyed.

AaDB Tue 20-Aug-13 00:01:55

Homemade food brought into the office gives me the heebie geebies. If I gave serious thought to prepared sandwiches, airline, anything; I'd have to go back to basics and mill my own for to make bread.

I hate cotton wool.

Ipsumlorem Tue 20-Aug-13 00:04:20

Yabu probably. Having said that I have a real thing (irrationally) about cleaning other peoples dishes when they are done eating. It's the thought of their saliva being all over any leftover food shivers blush

Monty27 Tue 20-Aug-13 00:05:35

Can't remember who posted about the cotton wool, but it just made me go ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww sad

Ipsumlorem Tue 20-Aug-13 00:05:50

that was meant to be <shivers>. Stupid phone!

gremlindolphin Tue 20-Aug-13 00:07:41

I'm with you on the wood thing although wet is better than try - beach spades, wooden spoons, toilet rolls - all aaaargh!!

Monty27 Tue 20-Aug-13 00:16:40

Wet wooden handled knife while peeling potatoes shock Nooooo!

HappyYoni Tue 20-Aug-13 00:29:59

The worst thing ever is rubbing carpet. Like if something spills and you have to rub stuff on it. Worst.thing.ever.

costumething Tue 20-Aug-13 00:35:03

I am the opposite. I will happily eat home cooked food & stuff thats been handled by people I know, but get anxious about eating out - which is very inconvenient. I can eat out but I don't enjoy it and it does make life difficult socially as most nights out seem to involve meals.
I blame reading 'Down and out in Paris and London' at an impressionable age. Funnily enough the one place I am happy to eat at is MacDonald's, as the food cooking is on display and whatever happens to it before hand once its been fried in hot fat, that's as good as Dettol as far as disinfectant is concerned!

WhatAFunnyPotato Tue 20-Aug-13 03:28:33

My word, and I thought I was the only one with this weird phobia...thanks OP! Mine is so much better these days and I can and do eat at friends' houses etc. but I do baulk at the idea of cakes brought into work and other people's food in Tupperware. (Tupperware! * faints * ) I happily accept I'm totally barking and completely hide this so as not to appear rude.

I think it started when, aged 7, my parents were house hunting and viewed a home which reeked of dog. The owner gave me a cup of juice and a biscuit, and the juice had dog hair in it and I'd seen the dog slobbering over the biscuits before she handed me one. To this day I find it nearly impossible to eat in houses where there's a dog and I need to scrub myself if I have to go near any hound.

I also hate other people's bed sheets and worn clothes. My worst nightmare is being a guest in someone's home where they haven't washed the sheets after the previous guests. And if they have a dog too, well....I'd run screaming.

I am stark raving bonkers, obviously grin.

Chottie Tue 20-Aug-13 03:43:55

I find it difficult to eat in dog owner's houses too. The dog is 'one of the family' and shares everything. I think it stems from staying with a French family when I was about 8. The mother cooked a meat casserole in a dish and served the family. Then she put the dish on the floor and the dog ate the rest. p.s. it was horse meat too.

When you have eaten at someone's house and found hair (human or animal) in your food, or sat on a chair with sticky dog saliva arms it is really, really difficult not to go <<ugh>> when faced with their food.

NadiaWadia Tue 20-Aug-13 04:24:29

Poppyhat - you do realise that all vegetables come out of the earth, don't you, so what difference does it make whether that earth is in someone's private garden or not?

Similarly, all eggs come from chickens bottoms, to be blunt.

Sorry, but you are being a bit illogical, aren't you?

Pitmountainpony Tue 20-Aug-13 04:52:57

I am like this with home made sperm.

Pitmountainpony Tue 20-Aug-13 04:55:42

Sorry i mean home made jams, all that boiling dipping fingers in to check acidity.....

NadiaWadia Tue 20-Aug-13 05:03:31

home made sperm grin

nooka Tue 20-Aug-13 06:13:36

It's sad to see so many people with weird food phobias, but I guess we all have a few. Some may not affect life as much as others. I would find it hard to be sympathetic to someone who refused to eat my food, because I was brought up to think that cooking for people was a way of showing them that you love them, so it would be very hard not to feel hurt. Plus I was brought up by parents who were very affected by post war rationing so food was never to be wasted.

At work the context is different and it really really isn't hard to say no. I don't have a sweet tooth and so very very rarely eat cake, I just say 'that looks lovely, but I'm not really a cake eater'. No offense caused. If the person who made the cake saw it in the bin they might be really upset, and there are bound to be other people who would very happily eat and enjoy the cake. Please stop saying yes and throwing it away.

nooka Tue 20-Aug-13 06:16:18

Pitmoutain you know that no one actually puts their fingers in boiling jam don't you? You'd get a very very bad burn. The finger testing is for set and it's with jam that's removed from the main pot and cooled down. No contamination possible. Plus the jam is boiling in any case, so no germs are left.

Beastofburden Tue 20-Aug-13 08:24:11

Shows what a very good job modern shops and manufacturers have done with their branding.

It is always rational to avoid the products of ghastly kitchens and food covered in dog hair and spit. But the phobias being discussed here are mainly about squeamishness of another human being involved in food production. Something about the shiny packaging in a shop or restaurant is taking your minds off this. Of course commercial places have food hygiene standards, but they are not all that, and often breached. And some are saying its ok if things are touched, as long as you don't see it happening.

I don't think I knew anyone with this view when I was younger. I suspect it is the product of a more commercialised life, where people associate commercial packaging with security, whereas we associated it with home cooking from our mothers and from friends' mothers.

Rationally, the germ thing is trivial in almost all cases. We all know its irrational. If I suffered like this, would I deal with it? Yes, I would. It's unhelpful for your kids to grow up with this level of anxiety around food. And you are missing out on many things, such as BBQs , pot luck suppers, dinner parties, a cup of tea and a bun on Mother's Day or your birthday, kids cooking for you when they come home from Uni....

Beastofburden Tue 20-Aug-13 08:29:11

Pit mountain, what kind of life is your spell checker living, that it sees "jam" and predicts "sperm"? Mine would be expecting the opposite, if anything, from the things it sees me type. Got one of those that learns from your individual use, have you? I think we should be told the full story here (grin)

FrauMoose Tue 20-Aug-13 08:32:48

I think it is really important that we teach our children to cook. It is a 'life skill'. Many young people are growing up with student loans to pay off, low wages, high rents, temporary/zero hours contracts etc. As a society we are also aware of the problems that are being stored up by early diets that are high in salt, sugar, the sorts of cheap fat that are used in processed food. By teaching them that overpriced jars of ready-made processed sauce, microwave ready meals etc, fast food kitchens are 'safe'. we are also teaching them that paying over the odds for unhealthy junk is the way forward. Perhaps it is better - quite literally - to get our hands dirty?

Beastofburden Tue 20-Aug-13 08:37:16

Fraumoose, so agree with you. An equally, if we teach them that it is possible to cook at home, but it is fraught with difficulty and you have to be incredibly precisely hygienic , then they will get the message that home cooking is difficult and too much faff.

meganorks Tue 20-Aug-13 08:51:35

I would actually rather you said 'i don't want your cake you skanky bitch' than took it and threw it in the bin! That's awful!

You say your not concerned about restaurants which is weird. But you realise all your food has come from somewhere with humans. Often factories with some workers who are low paid and don't give a shit. Anyone I know who has worked in a factory producing food wont eat what they produce. So short of making and growing all your own food really you should get over it.

motherinferior Tue 20-Aug-13 08:57:55

Agree totally that we are, culturally, getting weirder and weirder about food, eating and bodies. And that being able to 'pull a meal together' is a (really quite enjoyable) life skill.

Cravingdairy Tue 20-Aug-13 09:04:16

I can't believe so many people have issues with candles and birthday cake. I have never even given it a thought. You can leave the icing if it's such a big deal. Our society has a very strange relationship with food.

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Tue 20-Aug-13 09:05:06

Oh dear - OP, you do realise that factories aren't exactly germ free, aren't you?

cuts plant causes listeriosis outbreak

Bagged salads contaminated by e.coli

...and those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, I realise this may mean you will have to stop eating altogether! grin

One of DH's customer's (he's an electrician) once posted us some cheese scones in a tupperware box, for Christmas. I was all ready to dig in, but my DH said "Noooooooooooooo! if you saw the state of her kitchen.." Apparently this woman lived in absolute filth, mold all over the fridge, thick grease on the floor etc.

We binned the scones. sad

I must admit it's made me think twice about eating somebody's homemade stuff, if I have never seen their kitchen. e.g. buying cakes at school fetes, or things colleagues bring in.

I happily scoff stuff made by friends/ family that I know well though!

Capitola Tue 20-Aug-13 09:11:52

We have a homemade cake stall at our village fete.

All of the cakes sell out within minutes.

I could never buy a cake from a cake stall - the idea of not knowing who made it puts me off completely. Same applies to jam.

livinginwonderland Tue 20-Aug-13 09:14:31

People have weird relationships with food. Thing is, fifty years ago, if you had this kind of attitude, you wouldn't eat.

movingonandup Tue 20-Aug-13 09:24:04

There is little point trying to rationalise somebody out of a phobia.
If somebody is phobic about homemade food, tales of contaminated salad bags don’t make any difference to them at all. Just as presenting statistics for accidents in the home wouldn’t entice an agoraphobic to go to a theme park for the day.

This phobia, as many others, has been common for years - a fear of germs or contamination in various forms is one of the most common phobias of all. What has changed isn’t so much our awe of shiny packaged goods but our willingness to admit to mental health issues that once were kept hidden. Judging by the reactions on here though, it is no wonder people suffering such this particular one keep quiet and hide it.

Jins Tue 20-Aug-13 09:34:12

I have this phobia to some some extent but it stems from being misled about the presence of gluten until after consumption.


FrauMoose Tue 20-Aug-13 09:48:31

If somebody says 'I have an unfortunate phobia, and despite my attempt to seek help, it still limits my life and makes that of my family a bit difficult' I will feel sympathy.

I have a friend with a particular form of OCD. Last time she visited she asked if I would mind crossing a nearby road at one place rather than another, because one particular crossing point would make her feel less anxious. It wasn't that much further out of the way, so I was happy to comply so that her stress became more manageable.

However, I take pride in the fact that I am good cook using fresh ingredients including stuff from my own garden. I make my own bread and cake - as well as jams and chutneys. I rarely buy processed food. I have brought up three children. I have a cat. I enjoy feeding extended family and friends. These meals are typically relaxed and happy occasions. I am acquainted with the basic rules of food hygiene and operate within those rules. (Here I mean handwashing after using the loo, implementing rules about the storage of meat etc.)

If somebody throws away the food I cook and thinks that I am dirty, I don't actually think that a great deal of real friendship is possible....

Coconutty Tue 20-Aug-13 09:54:11

I couldn't eat anything homemade brought from a stall, chutney, jam, cake bleugh.

No idea why, I don't think it would make me ill but even the thought of it makes me feel queasy.

Pitmountainpony Tue 20-Aug-13 10:31:00

Beast of burden- no spell checker here, no Word! So annoying,
No I was joking about the jam.I just do not like hair in my food but even that I it pull out and carry on eating. I saw what went on in restaurants as a server and once you have caught your child's vomit in your mouth, everything is fair game really.
But phobias are phobias- little rationality to them.

devilinside Tue 20-Aug-13 10:40:40

Cakes are heated to a very high temperature, I'll happily eat home made cakes and I'm an emetophobe. You want to be more wary of home made salads, but saying that, I'd eat those too

Msgilbertblythe Tue 20-Aug-13 11:13:32

Yes!! I'm the same. The absolute worst is eating sandwiches made by someone else. Gross, I just can't eat them, unless made by a shop, my mother or my husband. I guess we're just weirdos.

I am like this I know it is weird. Funny enough I have a collegue just the same. I am worse with baked stuff (I can eat at some peoples houses but would still declin cake). I find cake stalls are just grim. I really cannot explain it. I dont think its germs, dirt or pets - I have them all! grin I am phobic about spiders so do understand that you cannot control it, mine is more a strong dislike to homebaked goods than a phobia so if necessary I could have forced myself. Like you I could eat from a resturant.

motherinferior Tue 20-Aug-13 11:20:19

My point is that a lot of people aren't talking about this as a mental health issue. Or even as a phobia.

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Tue 20-Aug-13 11:25:11

Movingonandup, rational thinking is EXACTLY what got me to admit my arachnophobia was out of hand and motivated me to do something about it. I was at the point of avoiding places where I thought spiders might be lurking, which was starting to curtail what I could do in my everyday life.

Oblomov Tue 20-Aug-13 11:28:36

I can not comprehend the logic of not eating something someone has made at home, but at a restaurant is o.k?
Why? Surely in a restaurant the person , for e.g, peels the onions , with their hands. Holds the onions, with their hands. Chops them. put them in the pot to make soup/ stock etc.

I can not comprehend why one would be ok and the other not.
defies logic.

farrowandbawl Tue 20-Aug-13 11:31:24

Nor I Oblomov.

At least with homemade stuff you can see the kitchen where it's been made, go in the fridge etc.

You can't go into restaurant kitchens, stores, fridges etc.

movingonandup Tue 20-Aug-13 11:52:06

But a fear of spiders isn’t very logical (in the UK) either. There are very few spiders which bite and none that would do you any serious damage. Also, people with arachnophobia are more sacred of the way spiders move and scurry about and the possibility of being crawled on in the night than the minuscule risk of getting a painful bite. A phobia is an irrational or illogical or disproportionate fear. Sometimes it is loosely based on a genuine danger and is an overreaction to that but just as often it is a fear of something that there is no logical reason to feel fear of.

The (illogical) explanation for some phobias to homemade food is the very fact of that close association between the person who made it and the food. What the eye can’t see the heart doesn’t grieve kind of philosophy. Cakes from a commercial kitchen just arrive with no associations about where they came from. Logically the staff may be be doing all sorts but you cannot see them and are therefore able to ignore it. It is hard to explain – just as someone with any other phobia might find it hard to explain - the feeling is very real even though logically there is no foundation for that degree of fear or revulsion to exist.
It is no good telling people bagged salad has germs and restaurant fridges are filthy because it isn’t a conscious choice or a rational thought process. Just like telling arachnaphoics the news that UK spiders won’t hurt them doesn’t help.

Chivetalking Tue 20-Aug-13 11:53:51

Talk of hair in food has reminded me of the tuna and pube fusion dish I was invited to indulge in at a friend's house years back...

Floggingmolly Tue 20-Aug-13 11:58:43

Dear God Chive!! <faints>

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 20-Aug-13 12:01:32

OU wouldn't want to eat in my house. Dog hair is a condiment!

Coconutty Tue 20-Aug-13 12:07:51

Good post moving I've never really though of the reason why I couldn't eat homemade stuff, just avoided it but your reasons make sense to me.

Am also seriously arachnaphobic and even though I know they can't hurt me, I get serious heart racing, palpitations and often actually shake. Bizarre but I can't seem to get over it.

Consils Tue 20-Aug-13 13:32:21

I want to hear more horror stories about factory made food.

I once found a smoked cigarette butt in a vegetable samosa at a posh deli in Oxford and a friend at college found a toenail in a pot noodle.

farrowandbawl Tue 20-Aug-13 14:00:42

Anyone remember the Life of Grime series? That put me off eating out for a long time.

expatinscotland Tue 20-Aug-13 14:06:55

I agree unreservedly with motherinferior.

The level of normalising of these types of phobias is shocking.

Mintyy Tue 20-Aug-13 14:14:04

"I could never buy a cake from a cake stall - the idea of not knowing who made it puts me off completely. Same applies to jam."

What about loaves of bread you buy in a supermarket?
Or biscuits
Or a Mr Kipling almond slice

Do you personally know all the people who make these?

confused confused confused

Beastofburden Tue 20-Aug-13 14:25:43

Getting back to the OP- I think we have established that this is not a rational fear, so technically, yes, YABU, but that does not mean we have no sympathy for it.

Do we feel that it is a harmless enough phobia? Many posters seem to, and in fact quite a few would disagree that it is any kind of phobia, saying that their position is rational. (Which for the few horror stories about many kitchens it is, but we also know that it would be rational to fear dirty commercial kitchens too).

I think the advice here is that you should think twice before deciding to live like this long term. Home cooking is important and your kids will have a much unhealthier life if they learn to avoid it. And other food issues may become more of a risk, in an atmosphere of tension and fear around certain types of food.

I would say that it would be worth some counselling to get past this. I do understand how these irrational things can grip, but I don't think you ought to accept your current state of mind as normal and harmless, or even, as justified.

Beastofburden Tue 20-Aug-13 14:26:24


gettngbetter Tue 20-Aug-13 14:33:54

OP here -

Movingonandup - I like your post - it makes sense to me. It is very irrational behaviour. My brain knows that home cooked food has been handled no less than something cooked in a restaurant - but I somehow don't accept this .

This dislike does not negatively impact on my life. I'd go for dinner in someone's house but if they are not family members then I wouldn't 100% enjoy eating the food but I'd enjoy the occasion and talking to friends.

I don't agree that I should always refuse food offered to me. A friend baked some cup cakes recently. I was at her house and she knew I was hungry and she knows I have a sweet tooth - so she offered one to me. I felt I had to say yes and eat it. I would have offended her if I said - 'no thanks, I hate eating home-cooked food'. I don't think my friend is unclean at all - and I don't think there is any more germs on her cupcakes than any other food.

This is nothing to do with germs. I'm not afraid of germs. I'm not worried about getting food poisoning. I suppose in the same way someone with a fear of spiders isn't afraid of getting bitten - they have an irrational horror.

If someone in work is putting some food from home in the microwave I'd feel mildly repulsed if I saw it or smelled it. But I wouldn't mind the smell of food from a packet as much - ideally I'd prefer not to have to smell any food in work.

This doesn't affect my DC's because they don't know I feel this way. Most people don't.

I know a lot of people can't understand my feelings on this - but can you honestly say you are completely 'normal'. I'd say most of us have at least one strange quirk or fear or habit.

frogwatcher42 Tue 20-Aug-13 14:34:42

I don't care so much about whether the food I eat in restaurants is safe (a high temp will presumably get rid of most things) but I really really hate the thought of bogies, vomit (thanks farrow!), wee or sperm floating in my food. My understanding is that, whilst not common, this can happen in some restaurants if you piss off the waiter, and in some food factories where people sneak it in for a laugh. But I could be wrong - I know this was the case years ago but things may have changed now.

Personally, after seeing the lads weeing on the lettuces in the back field as they pick them for the shops, and next doors dog shit being thrown over the fence onto the lettuce field on a daily basis, I now grow my own salad!!!

frogwatcher42 Tue 20-Aug-13 14:41:10

Or maybe everything I heard was a myth (although wasnt there some research in the late 90s which found these things in some bought food?????).

singersgirl Tue 20-Aug-13 14:41:24

I agree with expat and motherinferior. What's astonishing to me is the sheer number of posters who've come on to say that they feel the same way. Everyone understands that phobias aren't rational. But it surprises me that so many people seem to live with them without seeking help. Mind you, I feel that way about all the phobia threads on here. You do know that you can get treatment for phobias? My friend had her fear of spiders successfully neutralised. She still doesn't like them much, but she can pick them up and remove them from the house etc without transmitting her fear to her children.

Procrastinating Tue 20-Aug-13 14:41:32

OP I'm just the same as you describe. It affects nobody else and nobody would even know. The thought of getting counselling is ridiculous, I think I'm well within the range of 'normal'.

Procrastinating Tue 20-Aug-13 14:43:07

I have a phobia of needles that will not shift whatever I do. Easy enough not to transfer phobias to children - you don't tell them and you don't show it.

motherinferior Tue 20-Aug-13 14:58:59

No, it's not 'normal'. Really it isn't. Most people, faced with a piece of home made cake, are not irrationally repulsed. That's precisely why schools have cake sales.

If I tell you that I am utterly terrified of walking over Blackfriars Bridge in London, or over any high bridge over a motorway, and that I can only do so by looking straight ahead and clutching someone's hand - and that I quite often have to plan routes accordingly - you are not going to reassure me that it's normal. Because it isn't. It is a pointless and nasty phobia which most people don't have.

Procrastinating Tue 20-Aug-13 15:05:06

None of us is entirely rational, that is just human. It is only a problem if it makes you miserable or restricts your life in some way.
I don't want to go to dinner parties so therefore the food thing isn't a problem.
Your bridge fear must be fairly common, you have strategies so that is fine.

FrauMoose Tue 20-Aug-13 15:37:49

My mother's food fears are slightly different. It's a conviction that certain foods are 'bad' for her health/her body - although she has never been put on a special diet of any kind by any physician.

She is a vegetarian (not the fish-eating kind.) She believes that eggs disagree with her. Soft cheeses are also on her list of forbidden/disagreeable foods.

Onions, garlic, spices, citrus fruit, vinegar strawberries, apples and cabbage are out. So are pulses.

There seem to be stricter rules for the rare occasions when she eats out - tomatoes are off the menu.

Fried food is also a no-no. Nuts of all kinds have also recently been put on the banned list.

No alcohol, coffee or drinking chocolate can be imbibed. Weak tea is okay, though hot water is her usual beverage of choice. No orange juice.

So visiting her for a meal is a rather odd experience, as it usually consists of bread, plain pasta, hard cheese and cake -plus, possibly some boiled vegetables . Taking her out for a meal consists of her deciding out loud which dishes on the menu will be least toxic - which is not exactly fun for her fellow diners. As a guest she is a nightmare, because no matter how many efforts are made to accommodate her preferences she will always say that my cooking has disagreed with her and I have to listen to a lengthy analysis of the possible culprits.

Yonionekanobe Tue 20-Aug-13 15:52:11

I started a thread a couple of years ago (under a different username given it was MN pre-Yoni) a I had a colleague who brought cakes in and iced them in the staff kitchen locking her fingers between each one. I also mentioned she didn't wash the fruit that she stuck on top. I got flamed for suggesting this was a problem! Where were you OP!!?

elfycat Tue 20-Aug-13 15:57:02

I have a 5 star rating for the hygiene of my kitchen if that's any help. I do a complementary therapy that counts as 'food' from home. In fact I've just walked out of my dettol sprayed kitchen from doing my official food prep I don't normally dettol spray before my own food

Would you like a cookie?

But of course YANU for feeling that way about anything. We all have our likes and dislikes. YABU for throwing cake away. I'm on a fast day of my 5:2 diet and that's a cruel thing to tell me.

solarbright Tue 20-Aug-13 16:04:48

I have a friend with a similar issue, though some restaurants bother her, too. I do lots of home cooking, but when she visits we go out to restaurants or a supermarket. For every meal, even breakfast. She really can't help it, and now that I know what the issue is, it doesn't bother me that she considers my homemade soup a bubbling cauldron of disease. That's just her, and the kids and DH still eat it up happily.

Have you just told people, especially good friends offering you well-meaning cupcakes? Just tell them you have a phobia, it doesn't make sense but there it is. They may still forget and offer sometimes, but it's not like you can help it.

I'm sure your friends would either understand or at least stop torturing you with their cakes. smile

nooka Tue 20-Aug-13 16:14:10

OP, no one is saying you should always refuse if you are able on occasions when it really matters to eat the offering, but please stop taking food and then throwing it away.

If you don't care that you are missing out on lots of really good things, then no I suppose it doesn't affect your life that much.

motherinferior Tue 20-Aug-13 17:11:42

Procrastinating, I would hate not to be able to eat food my friends had cooked!

expatinscotland Tue 20-Aug-13 17:15:28

Someone's been permitted to open a Thai takeaway from their own house in our village! I can't wait to get over there. Mmmm.

Mintyy Tue 20-Aug-13 18:08:08

I agree with whoever said you owe it to yourselves to address your phobias.

I am a fairly severe emetophobe, but I still clicked on this thread to give my pov, even though it has the word vomit in the title. 6 months of cbt and a lot of effort on my part has got me to this place wink.

And, generally speaking, you [one] come across the problem of anyone vomiting within sight/sound/a 500m radius of you an awful lot less frequently than being invited to eat food that has been cooked or prepared by a friend.

grin at "I don't want to go to dinner parties"

Procrastinating Tue 20-Aug-13 18:13:35

I would pick my most serious phobia and deal with that Mintyy. The food one is a kind of sub-phobia. Congratulations on clicking on the vomit title, very brave.
My worst phobia is that I can't look at my own teeth. That one I know I should address. But how? Does it even have a name?

I have been to one dinner party and I had to drink a lot to be able to eat the food. The men talked about sport, it wasn't fun.

GrendelsMum Tue 20-Aug-13 19:04:10

Well, I think it might be worth looking at getting some therapy for this phobia.

I can understand that you've got a lot of strategies for dealing with it and minimising the situations, but I do think that it's not normal and it probably is impacting your life. If you can sort things out, it might make the rest of your life a little easier.

WetGrass Tue 20-Aug-13 19:44:28

I have this phobia in reverse.

I cook daily for my family - but I tie myself in knots cooking for other people. I'll re-wash all the dishes before I start for example. Anything that my DC claim to have baked is a lie. They have one bowl with their snot and bogies ; I have an identical bowl on the go myself which has the same recipe but made only by me. I put my hair up in a scarf. I remove my watch and rings. I package cakes in disposable containers to look more 'shoppy'. Buy fresh bags of flour, pasta etc to ensure no risk of 'out of date' embarrassment.

My mum used to work in catering and terrorised my about good food hygiene .

I think there is a lot to be said for M&S cakes!

SomethingOnce Tue 20-Aug-13 21:20:39

Oh, me too, WetGrass.

The mere thought of other people finding a hair or, worst of all, getting food poisoning from food I'd made, is mortifying.

[brandishes Dettol spray]

gettngbetter Tue 20-Aug-13 22:43:27

I'm amazed at the amount of like-minded people out there. I thought I was alone in my feelings!

FreshLeticia Tue 20-Aug-13 22:51:08

I have a lovely friend, who makes birthday cakes and such to order.
However, her kitchen is an absolute pigsty. So bad, youncannot find a clear space on the floor in which to stand shock .
I can eat her cakes, but I do wonder whether her clients would buy them if they could see....

Trinpy Tue 20-Aug-13 23:31:46

YABU but it's a phobia.

I will accept home made cakes but feel a bit sick about any food in a Tupperware container. Dh is a chef and sometimes brings food home that was left over from events he has catered for. If I saw this food at the event I would want to eat it, but because its in Tupperware box I assume it won't taste nice. I only just realised from this thread that I do this.

Beastofburden Wed 21-Aug-13 09:02:01

I think you will be lucky if your DC don't notice you not eating things they have made, refusing food at school events, not eating at BBQs and family events, etc. And it will probably affect the way you teach them to cook at home.

Interested how many people here agree that they have a phobia, but don't want it treated as a phobia, ie, something you try to get rid of because it is damaging.

Campari Wed 21-Aug-13 09:15:39

My mother is exactly the same, she doesnt eat other people's homecooked food either. It used to be a running joke in our family, & we'd constantly wind her up about it.
I don't find it so funny now though, as when she comes to stay she refuses all food & wants to go out instead, despite me already having cooked a roast dinner. Totally insulting. Im her daughter, FFS.

Poppyhat Wed 21-Aug-13 09:17:20

I have a phobia,not food related.i sweat and shake and get in a right state when faced with the object of my phobia .there is a huge difference between a phobia and a dislike/disgust of certain foods or how they are cooked.
The thought of a fresh warm egg,straight out of a hens bottom gives me the heave! But its not a phobia :-)
Illogical yes,but a phobia ? Or even a problem? Nah.

LadyMilfordHaven Wed 21-Aug-13 09:17:40

you need to get therapy OP

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 21-Aug-13 10:27:17

Thinks of swathes of the population in famine hit areas of the world, Prisoners of war, etc. I think some of the habits on this thread stem from fussy luxury and would soon disappear if there was true hunger. And actually on the whole they are bad habits not phobias and many need to give themselves a little talking to and think about how rude they must appear to hosts.

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