Best read of the weekend

Joel Rubin's first-person Column One in the Saturday L.A. Times described — in tasteful but descriptive detail — how he ended up in the ER with salmonella. He suspected the sushi he ate in Venice. Good lede:

My eyes popped open sometime after midnight and I knew I was in trouble.

This was not a typical bellyache. It radiated from my gut. Whatever it was, I could feel it in my toes. I tossed about, trying helplessly to fall back asleep.

Beads of sweat rose suddenly on my forehead. A sharp chill hit me. My teeth clattered, my body shuddered.

Then things got bad.

I bolted for the bathroom.

I couldn't have known it at the time, but in those early Monday morning hours, dozens of other people across Los Angeles were suffering just like I was. By sunrise, some of us would wind up in hospital emergency rooms. We were men and women, old and young, linked only by our unfortunate decision to eat a certain meal at a certain place at a certain time.

An outbreak had begun.

At least forty people were sick. Evidence led the county health department not to Venice but to BLD, the well-regarded eatery in the old Red space on Beverly Boulevard. Detective work traced the salmonella to tainted hollandaise sauce on the eggs benedict, which was prepared in violation of a new rule in the California Retail Food Code. "For this to happen, it's been devastating," said co-owner Amy Knoll Fraser.

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