Later today and likely tomorrow you'll be gathering with friends, family, and maybe even some total strangers to celebrate the Fourth of July with a meal. Most of us will cook outside of our kitchens. Many of us will bring dishes to share with others. The problem with cooking outside and the gathering of foods from different sources, hygiene.

We all know what our standards of clean are but do they measure up to the same standards as our neighbors? What could go wrong if food safety rules are not followed at the neighborhood block party? Based on this story out of Charlotte North Carolina a lot can go wrong.

Officials in Charlotte say a two-year-old child is in ICU and several people are suffering from what is being described as Shigella. All in all, 19 people have been hospitalized after eating food that was handled by someone who did not wash their hands correctly.

Officials believe the contamination came in the form of human feces that was included in one of the potluck dishes that was served to about 100 party guests at a potluck birthday dinner over the weekend. As of now, it is not believed the feces was placed in the dish intentionally.

Let's face it none of us really wash our hands that well all the time. When you consider we also handle our telephones a lot in the restroom the door for fecal contamination is wide open if we don't follow proper hygiene procedures. So, take some hand sanitizer to the picnic and make sure you're washing your hands and the hands of your children before you start your holiday meal.

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