Foodborne Illness

Food can be a perfect place for bacteria and parasites to live and grow. If bacteria or parasites are ingested while eating, a person can become ill. Efforts by the Food Inspection Team aim to minimize foodborne illness impact on the community.

The onset of foodborne illnesses vary greatly. Some foodborne illnesses do not have an immediate onset. Symptoms of foodborne illnesses include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. These symptoms may last only 24 hours, or they may become severe and lead to hospitalization, or in extreme cases, death. If you experience theses symptoms for more than 24 hours, please contact your health care provider. Foodborne illnesses can be more severe in young children, the elderly, and in people with a compromised immune system.

Hospitals are required to report certain illnesses to the Health Department's Epidemiology Office. Epidemiologists study the type of illnesses in the community and how often they occur. The epidemiology staff will work with the food inspection staff to investigate the situation and rectify any problems encountered.

If you would like to report a gastrointestinal illness that could be a suspected foodborne illness, submit a service request, provide as much detail as possible about your experience, and be ready to provide a food history of your last 6 meals.