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Help! New potatoes with bitter / burning taste - toddler has eaten some, should we worry?

(15 Posts)
sundriedtomatoes Sun 10-May-09 18:51:49

We just had some new potatoes and they tasted quite bitter - not a lot at first but then I had one that was so bad I had to spit it it out. It had a horrible bitter, slightly metallic taste, and the bit I swallowed even seemed to burn my throat a bit. We all stopped eating them then but my toddler had already eaten several. What could it be and what should we do?? Were they bad potatoes - could it be the stuff that makes them green? They weren't all green but a couple were half green. Or could it be some kind of pesticide?

Sort of wondering if we should be quickly making him sick (this was probably half an hour ago now) or if that's panicking too much?

GentleOtter Sun 10-May-09 18:55:49

The potato shaws are usually sprayed with glyphosate a few weeks before they are harvested.
Where did you get the potatoes and had they been stored beside any cucumber - this can sometimes cause a bitterness.

Is your child complaining of feeling sick or sore tum? If so then phone NHS24 for advice.

reikizen Sun 10-May-09 18:56:11

Oh my god, how do you plan to make a toddler sick??? I would have thought that if they have eaten 'several' that they couldn't have been too bad!!

sundriedtomatoes Sun 10-May-09 18:57:28

Thanks for your reply. The potatoes are just from our local supermarket, Jersey new potatoes, not organic. They were in a plastic bag. They were washed but not peeled.

sundriedtomatoes Sun 10-May-09 18:58:08

No idea how you plan to make a toddler sick, this is purely hypothetical! I'm just panicking!

AnarchyAunt Sun 10-May-09 18:59:29

Solanine is the stuff that makes them green and it can give them a bitter taste. You need to eat a lot to make them toxic but I might ring NHS direct to check.

HTH.

reikizen Sun 10-May-09 19:00:17

I think they will wake you up at midnight, be sick on their bedding and then sleep peacefully until morning, taking up a disproportionally large amount of your bed if my two are anything to go by! I'm sure there is nothing to worry about but yes, ring NHS direct if you suspect anything is wrong. Good luck!

AnarchyAunt Sun 10-May-09 19:01:01

Here but please dont panic because its quite hard to eat enough to be dangerous.

sundriedtomatoes Sun 10-May-09 21:54:06

Thanks for the replies everyone.

The one I had really did taste foul and googling is not my friend over this - everything seems to say taste is a better guide than greenness to something being wrong - "don't eat any more if a potato tastes bitter" is the typical advice.

This link

www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v30je19.htm

talks about glycoalkaloid concentrations and symptoms and so on (just putting it in in case some future Mumsnetter is searching for similar info).

NHS Direct phoned me back a little while ago - symptoms could start up to 12 hours from eating the potatoes and if any of us have any symptoms we have to go to A&E. Symptoms could be abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea with blood in it, fever, rapid pulse. They said that after 12 hours it would probably be OK if nothing had happened by then.

We are all fine so far though and hopefully will stay that way.

sometimes fresh new season jersey royals with the skin on can taste a bit bitter - they have a really strong flavour which tastes very different from the usual bland old potato flavour. I don't often buy jersey pots cos the flavour is so strong, prefer a nice charlotte or something. I really don't think you've all been poisoned.

sundriedtomatoes Sun 10-May-09 22:10:47

Wish I'd read that three hours ago! Though I had wondered at first if it might be something like that, and googled accordingly, to see if I could find any reference to some potatoes just having that flavour anyway, and didn't find anything at all. And these were pretty foul. There was definitely something not right with them, even if we'll never know what it was.

GentleOtter Mon 11-May-09 09:28:54

Are you all ok today?

sundriedtomatoes Mon 11-May-09 16:42:41

We are all fine

From what the link above said about the typical range of solanine amounts in bitter potato tubers, and from our body weights, I worked out that someone eating the amounts we ate could in theory have had an amount well below the illness threshold, which we must have done - or it could have been at the dangerous end but clearly it wasn't since we're all fine! Or maybe in this case it was something else altogether making them taste vile and my throat burn - who knows. Either way, yuk, and I'll be paying more attention next time and stopping after the first bitter mouthful - all that reading has made me appreciate a bit more the vomit-inducing potential of the humble spud when it's not at its best!

milkysallgone Mon 11-May-09 20:22:54

I have noticed the exact taste you describe on occasion when eating new pots. Rather worryingly I carried on eating them blush

chiquita82 Sat 04-Oct-14 22:50:46

I have eaten a some kind of a potato bake which I have made at home. When peeling and tasting the boiled potatoes I have noticed some odd taste to them , burning feeling when swallowing, just like when you taste a green potato. But the confusing thing was that there was nothing green about them, absolutely normal looking potatoes, must have been quite recently harvested ( it is early October now). I was thinking whether to bother finishing the meal or throwing them away but I thought my taste cells must be playing up now when I am pregnant and things just taste weird to me. I did finish cooking the meal which was a dinner for my partner who ate some of it. I think most of the bitter taste must have been covered by lots of other ingredients added like cream, bacon, eggs , salt and herbs. My partner ate it last night and today he was fine or at least did not complain about anything. Today - about 5 hours ago I came from a long walk and was totally starving so I had a double portion of those lovely potatoes!! It could have been easily 500 grams of them. But then stupidly I started googling and found out that higher level of solanine can be present in badly stored potatoes even without turning them green and can case poisoning. Now I am terribly scared that I may have poisoned myself which would not be that fatal like possibly harming the baby I am expecting. I am only 13 weeks now. I tried to throw up but 4 hours after eating the potatoes nothing came out:=( Now I guess I will have to wait another 8 hours to see if I get any symptoms. Do you think this could harm the baby somehow? I thought I am being terribly cautious with all the food, avoiding cold meats, pates, raw eggs, mouldy cheeses and now I find this. Has anyone ever done something similar and was fine afterwards ? God if I could turn back time and throw the potatoes away.

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