Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Bad Lump, is this possible?

CanuckEggCanuckEgg Posts: 18
edited 8:52AM in EggHead Forum
I have had my egg for about a year and a half, and had an expierence lately that I would like to share.

I cleaned out the egg (just vaccuum, no liquids etc.) and filled up with a fresh bag of Maple Leaf lump, like I have done quite often.

The Egg was lit and left to heat up for about 2 hours before we used it.

I cooked up pork tenderloin that I had bought that day at Costco, marinated in a fresh dry rub and finished with a bottled sauce. Again, like I have done before several times. The meat was at all times properly refrigerated and clean cooking utensils were used.

Also on the Egg were Hassleback potatoes.

Meat was cooked propoerly to internal temps, and was actually very good lots of compliments. I did notice however a faint detection of smoke, and was surprised because no smoke chips were used.

Later that evening, bot my wife and I had stomach cramps, and the next day, our guests told us one of them was actually physically ill.

I am not ruling out bad meat of course, but I have never had a problem with Costco meat before. The reson I suspect "bad lump" is other people who did not eat the tenderloin (also cooked chicken on the gasser spit) but did eat the Hasslebacks also were feeling ill.

Anyone else ever had expierences like this, and can in fact lump go bad?



  • I find it hard to blame the lump. Did it smell moldy? Some lump imparts a smokey flavor, so that's not unusual. It sounds like you handled the meat properly. If it was the meat, it got contaminated before you ever touched it. Did everyone eat the potatoes? Sorry for your troubles.
  • What you're asking is if it's possible that lump charcoal carries an infectious agent or toxin.

    I have trouble imagining this, because the heat involved would kill common nasties.

    As an experienced user, you waited more than long enough (2 hrs) for VOCs from the charcoal startup to stop, so I put little weight on vague "toxic fumes." You could try another test cook with something harmless like potatoes and see if an unpleasant odor is present again. I think it's more likely that your symptoms were from another source than the lump.

    It's possible that was some organic component in the egg itself, or on the grill, but that would not uniformly affect all your guests.

    --Could the sauce be spoiled?

    --Might you have cross-contaminated from the chicken, which is the most dangerous of the foods you listed? Specifically, did you touch other finished food to the board you prepared raw chicken on, or use the cooking tools or plate that you carried the chicken on? Salmonella symptoms can occur from six to 72 hours after exposure:

    Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

    An infectious dose of Salmonella is small, probably from 15 to 20 cells. Typically, non-typhoidal Salmonella produces a self-limiting febrile gastrointestinal illness that is indistinguishable from that caused by other bacterial enteric pathogens. Dehydration is the principal clinical concern. The incubation period – the time between ingestion of Salmonella bacteria and the onset of illness – varies from six to 72 hours (Mayo Clinic, 2007, April 12; MMWR Recomm Rep, 2001).

    Salmonella can cause three different kinds of illness: gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, and bacteremia.

    Symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting. In mild cases diarrhea may be non-bloody, occur several times per day, and not be very voluminous; in severe cases it may be frequent, bloody and/or mucoid, and of high volume.

    Fever generally occurs in the 100°F to 102°F (38°C to 39°C) range. Vomiting is less common than diarrhea. Headaches, myalgias (muscle pain), and arthralgias (joint pain) are often reported as well. Whereas the diarrhea typically lasts 24 to 72 hours, patients often report fatigue and other nonspecific symptoms lasting 7 days or longer.

    Your doc would have to do a stool sample to confirm dx.
  • mikeb6109mikeb6109 Posts: 2,067
    i agree no way it could have been the lump! not after a 2 hour burn. it more less a contaminated utensil that touched some of the products consumed,or better yet spoiled meat or sauce!
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,703
    but didn't you say everyone who had the Hassleback potatoes got sick? Those sound suspect to me. With the multiple cuts in Hassleback style the potatoes could have become contaminated. What sauce or seasoning did you use. Other than the smell of smoke didn't anybody sense something was potentially wrong?
    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Dunlap, IL
  • No, there was no unusual smell from the lump, and everyone did eat the potatoes, but not the pork. I know it is weird.
  • There was no cross contamination with the chicken at all which was our first thought. The chicken was carried to the grill on a foil wrapped cookie tray with a parchment sheet layer. The pork was on a totally seperate board altogether.

    Sauce could have been a problem, but of course it tasted alreight, and even my daughter who only ate potatoes, no sauce was feeling ill.

    I don't know, everyone is fine now, but it is just weird, and I have never had this problem before.
  • No, nobody complained of anything while we were eating.
    I agree that maybe the problem was in the potatoes,
    but they were cooked pretty stright forward -
    Peeled and boiled off for a bit
    Sliced and fanned out and put in a foil tray
    Cooked and basted in butter/chicken stock
    Finished with fresh parsley, Parma, bread crumbs
    Have done these a lot the same way and never a problem, but who knows.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,703
    chicken stock? Commercial or home made?
    L, M, S &  Mini
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time

    Dunlap, IL
  • Thanks for the comments. I am going to put this down to spoiled food or some sort of contamination.
    Doing Tequila, Lemon Lime Chicken thighs tonight, so hopefully we will survive to tell!
    Thanks again...
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,390
    im betting on the stock too.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    did you cook the potatoes in a pan underneath the meat?

    drippings might be the issue
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Sometimes people leave the food item in the cart and leave the store and Costco shelves the item. Could have been spoiled somewhere in between.
  • It seems like everything is pointing to the potatoes. Were they soft? If ecoli and salmonella can get into spinach and other produce, then it would make sense that it could soak into potatoes.
  • BrocBroc Posts: 1,398
    My non-medical opinion -- The Stock!

    If it ain't the Butler -- it's the Stock!

    I always bring stock [commercial or home made] to a boil before using... or it can be dangeroos [Australian description].

    ~ B
  • Broc

    This is fun!! Sombody should get food poisoning every week and we could all guess what did it. I think it was Mrs. White with the contaminated spatula. :laugh: :laugh:



    Caledon, ON


  • I have experienced food poisoning twice in my life and it leaves a very lasting impression. Both times uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhea occurring on a 15 minute cycle nonstop for 24 hours!!! :blink: I actually almost wanted to die. :( After 24 hours...symptoms gone as fast as they started.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.