06/22/2012 03:38 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2012

Hollandaise Food Poisoning: Sauce Likely Culprit In Staphlococcus Infections

Seven people in Portland became violently ill earlier this week after consuming eggs Benedict with Hollandaise. Later tests revealed that two of those people, including an 83-year-old six-term commissioner from North Carolina, were infected with a strain of Staphlococcus aureus.

The sickened parties ate the dish at a Crowne Plaza Hotel in Northeast Portland. The bacterium, commonly found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people, can in some cases produce toxins that result in acute gastrointestinal problems. The remaining five people who were hospitalized were not tested.

The Oregonian spoke with epidemiologist Dr. Mathieu Tourdjman, who said that the sauce became contaminated because it was not kept at a high enough temperature.

Bill Stanley, the North Carolina commissioner, told the paper that although the hotel offered him compensation, it "wouldn't pay for the hospital bill." The resulting hospital stay has so far cost Stanley dearly:

Since the morning Stanley became ill, he has racked up nearly $14,000 in medical expenses, according to the lawsuit. He is seeking to recover those expenses plus at least $26,000 in noneconomic damages.

Photo by Flickr user ultrakml.