At least 40 sick with Shigella after ‘eating food contaminated with feces at potluck birthday party’ in North Carolina

I’m not a big fan of the potluck.

Sure I get social aspect, the trying different foods and experiencing different cultures.

But do I trust the different food prep places, proper temperatures, storage and cleanliness.

Jane Wester of the Charlotte Observer reports at least 40 people are sick after eating contaminated food at a potluck birthday party in east Charlotte Saturday, Mecklenburg County health department officials said Monday.

Someone who prepared food for the party did not wash their hands well enough, Health Director Gibbie Harris said. Some partygoers are infected with a “highly contagious” disease called shigella, which causes diarrhea and is spread through feces, Harris said.

About 100 people attended the birthday party, and more may still get sick, as symptoms of shigella can take one to three days to show up after someone is infected, Communicable Disease Control director Carmel Clements said. It’s possible, however, for some people to get sick a whole week later, Clements said.

Most patients called 911 from the Forest Hills apartment complex, near where the party was held, according to Medic.

Health officials are sure that the contaminated dish was prepared in someone’s home rather than a restaurant, Harris said, because the only outside food at the party was the birthday cake.