August 18, 2019

Suspect Food Poisoning? State Contact List is a Good Place to Start

Hepatitis-A-7-30-13If you or someone you know has been exhibiting the symptoms of food poisoning, you (or your doctor) should contact your state or city health department. FoodSafety.gov has a map with links to all of the state, commonwealth, and territory health departments to get you started. When two or more people have the same illness from the same contamianted food or drink, the illnesses are officially classified as an outbreak.

Since most cases of foodborne illness are not reported, it’s crucial that if you did get sick from food served at a restaurant or event, you tell public health officials about it. For instance, Salmonella outbreaks are usually underreported by a factor of 30. If an official Salmonella outbreak case count stands at 100, there are likely 3,000 people who are actually sick in that outbreak. Your case may provide the clues that can help solve an outbreak.

When public health officials discover an outbreak, they move quickly to investigate so more people don’t get sick. They also use this information to help prevent outbreaks from happening in the future. The CDC has good information about how a foodborne outbreak is investigated, from farm to fork. Food Poisoning Bulletin has also detailed the investigation of an E. coli outbreak that happened in Montgomery County, Ohio in July 2012.

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
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