Dozens Were Hospitalized After A Potluck — Because Of This One Mistake We All Make

hospitalized after potluck

Welp, I now have all the evidence I need to deny all potluck invitations from now on. I’ve always been weary of dinner parties hosted at houses instead of restaurants, and the following unfortunate event just solidified my reasoning. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a birthday celebration that was hosted at an apartment ended terribly with 19 people being hospitalized for Shigella. According to Medic, the local medical emergency service, many people called 9-1-1 from the apartment complex where the party was held.

Shigella is an infectious disease that causes extreme cramping, fever, and diarrhea (ugh). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shigella can last up to seven days and is spread through contact with feces. It sounds similar to E. coli because it is, genetically speaking. As a result, you should be tested by a doctor for confirmation.

This specific Shigella incident resulted from a potluck affair, and according to The Charlotte Observer, the only store-bought item was the birthday cake. So, the big question we all want an answer to is: Out of the 100 party attendees, who prepared and brought the infected food item?

We need to ban this culprit from parties and potlucks, forever!


The simple act of thoroughly washing hands before handling food could have prevented 19 people from being hospitalized. (I’ve been taught this all my life, but apparently, some people missed the memo.) The Charlotte Observer also reported that some of the hospitalized victims were even admitted to intensive care — all they wanted to do was have a good time, and now they’re sick and dodging dehydration.

Fortunately, Shigella can be treated and cured with antibiotics. However, I’m certain these victims will pass on all future potlucks.


Shigella is not easily recognizable because the disease may not show symptoms for up to three days after contamination.


I’m in limbo because it’s officially BBQ season and honestly, the best ribs that I’ve ever eaten do not come from my kitchen. I love filling my plate with ribs and mac and cheese at cookouts, but I just can’t trust anyone else’s hands anymore (insert crying emoji).

As we enter this season of cookouts and holiday parties, make sure you turn your sanitation radar on. It only takes 20 seconds to properly wash hands. Those twenty seconds could save you and your loved ones from a hospital visit. Be sure to wash your hands before and after contact with food to prevent the chances of being infected.

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