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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!)

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.

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

you need to get therapy OP

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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!

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]

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!

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.

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.

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"

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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!!?

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.

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.

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 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.

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'.

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.

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