We all have our own approaches in the kitchen, from the way we organize our tools and spices, to what we enjoy cooking and serving the most.
But we should all be able to agree on general safety practices, especially those related to contamination, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Justsod**n was visiting his mother’s house and preparing a chicken dish for her and her boyfriend, only for her boyfriend to offer to help with making the salad.
Despite the Original Poster (OP)’s warnings to use a different cutting board to avoid contamination, the mother’s boyfriend got salmonella poisoning anyway.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for knowingly letting my mom’s boyfriend get food poisoning?”
The OP cooked for his mother and her boyfriend while visiting them.
“I (24 Male) am visiting my mom (54) for a couple of days. Yesterday evening, I was in the kitchen preparing a chicken dish.”
“My mom’s boyfriend (55) came into the kitchen to prepare a salad and asked me if he could use the cutting board.”
“The cutting board and knife were still soaked with chicken juice and had tiny bits of raw chicken on them, so I obviously said no, that he should use the spare one.”
“I was still busy with cooking but had planned to clean both by hand and then put it in the dishwasher.”
“I am very cautious about food safety (especially regarding chicken) and I would not have let him use the board, even if he cleaned it by hand, since I don’t trust meat-contaminated tools if they weren’t in the dishwasher.”
The mother’s boyfriend did not agree with the OP’s safety concerns.
“My mom’s boyfriend, on the other hand, does not believe in food poisoning. He never had it, so obviously it can’t exist.”
“I don’t know why he is so unreasonable regarding this topic since he is not like that with other stuff. He is not anti-Vax or anything, it’s just food safety he doesn’t believe in.”
“He still insisted on using the cutting board and knife.”
“I reminded him of salmonella, to which he just sighed, ‘You and your salmonella…'”
“I replied that if he wants to use it, then fine, but if he cleans it, it may not be up to my cleaning standards, but I don’t have to eat that salad.”
“Well, that man did not intend to clean the cutting board. He wanted to cut the vegetables, that he wanted to eat raw, on the dirty cutting board, with the dirty knife.”
“I immediately told him, that he cannot do that and we had a heated discussion.”
“This was not the first time we had a fight about food safety and I have more than once refused to eat anything he had prepared. In the past, I had grabbed the kitchen utensils out of his hand and ensured that he could not do stupid like that.”
“But this time, I was already exhausted from having such a stupid discussion, and I was also caught off guard because he never attempted something so unsafe before.”
“So I thought fine, if he wants to give himself salmonella so badly, then I will not stop him. I just warned my mom how he prepared said salad (she did not eat it) and let him eat his food hazard.”
The OP’s mother blamed him for what happened next.
“You can probably guess what happened next. It’s the next day and as expected, he is laying sick in bed.”
“My mom pulled me aside and told me, I should have stopped him from preparing the salad on the cutting board, that I knew what would happen, and that it was cruel of me, to let him eat it.”
“I responded, that she knew how he prepared it and could have stopped him from eating it.”
“Her reasoning is that there was already an argument because she refused to eat the salad herself and she did not want to cause another.”
“I do feel bad that he is now sick, but I tried to talk him out of it and I don’t think I should have to physically stop him from doing something stupid like that.”
“On the other hand, I do feel like an a**hole for letting him go through with it.”
“So am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that the blame was not on him for what happened.
“At first I was like oh yeah, YTA… and then OP said he told him no and that was it. Once OP said no, it’s dirty, the due diligence was fulfilled and mom’s boyfriend deserves what he gets for being a nimrod.” – whyisthecarpetwet
“NTA. This guy is an absolute joke. He’s a grown man and should know better than this. You’re not his mom or his caretaker. The fact that you warned him and he couldn’t care less cemented he’s at fault here. Not you.”
“It blows my mind when people don’t take things like this seriously. Never had it before so it can’t exist? He learned real quick what f**kin up looks like. Hopefully, this is a lesson learned and he doesn’t do this crap again.” – Perfectionkun
“This man has had 55 years on this planet to learn basic information like ‘it’s bad to poison yourself with raw dead animal juice.'”
“What else are you gonna have to educate him on, according to your mom? It’s bad to touch hot stoves? Don’t run with scissors? Tie your shoelaces so you don’t trip?”
“NTA.” – mmmmmmmmmmmmm234
“He’s a grown-a** adult, and you pushed back plenty. You informed him of the specific risks involved. You told him not to use it because of those risks. You warned everyone else of the potential consequences of his actions when he disregarded you. You did everything right here.”
“Literally, anything else you could have done to stop him would involve physical assault.”
“Your mom is a coward and her boyfriend is an id**t. If she is more concerned with not rocking the boat than calling him out on willingly endangering both of their lives, that’s on her. She needs to have more self-respect.”
“And the boyfriend should go to the hospital. Salmonella can kill you. It can last in your body for years.”
“NTA.” – Encartrus
“Wait, they argued because she wouldn’t eat the salad, but she couldn’t stop him because she didn’t want another argument? So you were supposed to stop him how? He refused to listen before he made the salad, was he going to quietly acquiesce at the dinner table?”
“Five bucks and a bowl of chili says if you had tried to stop him, she’d be mad at you for ‘causing an argument’ anyway. He sounds like a peach, but whatever good she sees in him, she knows he was being stubbornly stupid on this topic.”
“He’s sick and p**sed off (and hopefully embarrassed) because he proved himself wrong and you’re right. Guaranteed he’s grumpy as f**k and taking it out on her. She’s grumpy because he’s taking it out on her and she probably has to care for his sick a** while he does, so she’s taking it out on you. They sound like a fine pair.”
“Also, does she seriously expect you to get into a physical altercation with a man holding a knife? He’s a grown man, so unless you’re aware of illegal or immoral actions on his part, it’s not your job to police his behavior. If your mother doesn’t like his behavior, she can use her big girl words and/or dump his a**.”
“Biggest NTA in ages.” – SwimmingOk8500
Others said the OP was the AH for how he interacted with his mom’s boyfriend.
“Honestly, the biggest ‘YTA’ part of this whole post is that these are ongoing arguments.”
“If it’s food just for him leave it alone, not your problem. He’s an adult who is aware of the concern and disagrees. Move out when you can.” – Riledastaldo
“YTA. Let the man do what he wants.”
“You can not try to raise him. You told him you used it for chicken. That should have been the end of it on your part.” – Live_Rock3302
“Gentle/facetious YTA because you went above and beyond an appropriate interaction between two cognitively intact adults this time and previously. A simple ‘heads up, it has raw chicken on it. Better give it a wash,’ is the ceiling here. But the boyfriend is a dumba** and maybe an a**hole, depending on how he interacts with you beyond, ‘you and your salmonella.'”
“Your mum is definitely the a**hole, though. You can not control another person; your mum wanted you to take about his fundamental human right of bodily autonomy. And her reasoning for not wanting to ’cause’ another argument is just code for cowardice/fear/insecurity.”
“If the dude is abusive, or she has had a hard life, then I will walk back from calling her a full-blown a**hole, but that was still pretty a**holey (a**holish) behavior toward you.” – A_lurker_succumbed
“Look, salmonella is not something to screw around with. It’s not funny. It’s not something to regret. It can kill people. Instead of fighting with the man, you should have just washed the items you used by hand before giving them to him.”
“That’s all you needed to do. Soap and hot water. It could have saved him a lot of grief, even if he is dumb, or especially because he is dumb. It’s not worth letting someone do something you know is dangerous because they are mule-headed if you have the opportunity to prevent it.”
“Imagine talking to the hospital staff and police afterward, or a lawyer or jury, if you get sued. Yes, judge, I knew full well there was raw chicken all over the items, but I handed them over anyway, knowing he was going to use them without washing them.”
“Yeah, not the smartest thing to do because you now sound willfully malicious. ESH.” – DaxxyDreams
“Look, I will absolutely privately judge people for being bad in the kitchen, but it’s definitely coming from a place of privilege. OP sounds like they know what they’re doing, and failing to put their foot down against an obviously inexperienced person kinda seems like they wanted it to happen.”
“Kitchens aren’t democracies. A dumb@ss who at least seems to want to help isn’t an adversary. Overall this seems very much to be an argument over Iranian yogurt that OP was happy to let play out.”
“ESH.” – anaccountthatis
While everyone could agree that this story involved three adults, the subReddit was divided over what the OP did in the situation. He may have been right to point out the contamination of the board, but fellow Redditors weren’t sure if he should have stopped arguing sooner or if he should have just washed the board for his mom’s boyfriend if he was so worried about it.