Q: It was my birthday last week and we have a tradition at work where we bring a cake in to share with colleagues over a cup of tea. I decided to make a cake (something I never do) and shared it out. The next day, three of my team were off sick with stomach complaints and the people who did show said they felt unwell. I felt ropey too. I'm pretty sure it was my cake and I have overheard a couple of people say I was trying to poison them. I'm really upset about it and embarrassed, and don't know how to rectify the matter.
A: It's quite an achievement to produce a toxic cake: certainly the first I've ever heard of. But you seem to have done it and I can understand your embarrassment. In time, of course, it will all get forgotten (though the next person's birthday may revive unfortunate memories), but you can probably speed up the recovery process.
I suggest you buy a big box of rather grand biscuits to share with your colleagues. Attach a note to the box: 'Dear All, I'm terribly sorry about that cake. You'll be relieved to know that I didn't make these biscuits.' People would have to be very unforgiving to go on muttering after that.