Food Poisoning

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In New Jersey, 9 Taco Bells shut down after serving green onions contaminated with E-coli. And 800 people in Michigan are sick from a Norovirus.

A recent survey found one in three adult Americans say they have suffered from food poisoning at some point. Health officials say it's just as common in the Stateline area as it is in the rest of the country.

"You only have to have one bacteria and it can start growing. So if you have anything that causes contamination and then you ship it then those bacteria can proliferate," said Dr. John Underwood, director of Emergency Services at SwedishAmerican Hospital.

People who leave egg salad out a few hours, or don't wash their hands after preparing chicken may end up at the emergency room instead of grandma's house during the holidays.

"If you have a child or elderly person who gets food poisoning or someone who has a compromised immune system already, you can get really sick, dehydrated, and if you have another disease on top of that you can die," said Penny Bolen, a dietician at SwedishAmerican.

Human error is the main cause of food born illnesses. We can protect ourselves by using separate utensils to prepare meat and washing our hands after preparing food. But at restaurants, our well being is in the hands of others.

"You have to remember a lot of the people who work at restaurants are teenagers and management can't be around to watch them all the time."

Bolen recommends we ask for a new platter if buffet food looks like it's been left out for a while.