Woman poisons herself with a slow cooker meal - this is the mistake she made

A woman who used her slow cooker to make a basic vegetable stew ended up poisoning herself twice.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:43 pm
A woman poisoned herself by cooking beans in her slow cooker

Anne Sullivan found herself stricken with horrific diarrhoea, nausea and dizziness after she created a toxin in the cooker, but she didn’t realise the cause of her illness until she ate the same meal the next day.

And rather than being caused by any kind of meat or dairy product, it was a simple bean which caused all the problems.

What caused the sickness?

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Anne found the white bean stew recipe online and carefully followed the instructions. including pre-soaking the beans, then letting them simmer for seven hours in the slow cooker.

The next day, when she ate her pre-made lunch at work, she noticed the beans were chewy but ate them anyway.

Mirror Online reported that Anne began to feel faint and dizzy. She said, "I must have looked awful, too, because my boss told me to go home and get some sleep. I felt like throwing up."

The next day, when she felt better, Anne ate the meal again with her boyfriend. During the meal her boyfriend wondered if it was the beans that had made her sick.

They abandoned the meal and the same symptoms struck again just as they were about to go out.

It turned out that, despite the length of time Anne had soaked the beans for in the slow cooker, they were still undercooked.

How to avoid poisoning

This meant that a naturally occurring toxin called phytohaemagglutinin was more potent that normal, causing diarrhoea and nausea.

In order to avoid this Anne needed to soak the beans for five hours, before draining, rinsing and then boiling them for 10 minutes.

Anne said that the recipe had not specified this, possibly because the author would assume most people would use canned beans, which come pre-cooked.