The Mesa County Health Department said food poisoning happens more often than not around the holidays and it’s an illness that’s easy to avoid.

“In food safety there’s something that we call the danger zone, and you want to keep your hot foods somewhere above 135 degrees Fahrenheit and your cold food below 40 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Katie Goddeyne with the Health Department.

Any item left outside in the heat for more than two hours is considered a risk for food born illness as it can easily form bacteria that affects the body.

“You know usually you won’t feel that for a while. You can be home 4-6 hours and then get violently sick,” said Karl Stephens, Executive Chef with Community Hospital.

Cross contamination can also make a surprise appearance at a party too.

“If  you cut your chicken up on a cutting board, and take that same knife from the cutting board chop up some lettuce you’re opening the door to food born illness,” said Goddeyne.