July 15, 2024

How to Report a Problem With Food to the FDA and USDA

Most Americans have had food poisoning at one time or another, giving that 48,000,000 Americans contract this form of illness every year. Most people think they have the “stomach flu” or a “24 hour bug” when they actually have food poisoning. How do you report a problem with food?

How to Report a Problem With Food to the FDA and USDA

What do you do if you think you have food poisoning? First, know the symptoms of food poisoning for various pathogens: E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella. You can report your illness to the government if you think that a problem with food (such as the Northfork Bison E. coli outbreak) purchased from a store is the problem.

First, call your doctor to get necessary treatment. Many foodborne illnesses can have long term health complications and this should be noted on your medical chart.

You can report your illness to your local health department, either at the city or county level. The entity you contact will depend on the kind of food you believe made you sick.

If you think you have contracted food poisoning from meat, poultry, or processed egg products, contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854 or fill out a form online. The USDA regulates those types of products.

If you think you have been sickened by any other food, contact the FDA’s Main Emergency Number at 866-300-4374 or phone the Consumer Complaint Coordinator for your state.

If your complaint involves pet food, there is a special reporting portal set up by the FDA. You can use this if your pet has been sickened or if you believe you or a family member has been sickened by pet food or pet treats, such as the ongoing Salmonella outbreak linked to recalled pig ear dog treats.

If you believe a meal at a restaurant (such as the Brixx and Barley Salmonella outbreak) made you ill, you should call the health department in your city, county, or state. You can see the list of state departments of public health at the Foodsafety.gov web site.

Report Your Food Poisoning Case

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