Memorial Day weekend, with its cookouts, picnics and family outings, offers a perfect opportunity to contract food-borne illness.

The death of a South Carolina resident from salmonella Sunday serves as a reminder that improperly prepared food can make a person very sick and even be fatal. The South Carolina fatality has been linked to a salmonella outbreak at a Camden buffet restaurant, and health officials say at least 176 others have become ill after eating there.

Frequent culprits are raw or undercooked eggs, meat or poultry, the CDC said. When hands, utensils and cutting boards are not properly washed, cross-contamination is possible. To guard against salmonella, avoid raw or undercooked meat, poultry or eggs. That includes homemade salad dressing and cookie dough. The CDC urges careful hand washing before handling food and in between handling different types of food.