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foodborne illness

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Protecting you and your family from foodborne illness.

Galion City Health Department investigates possible cases of foodborne illness by collecting and evaluating food histories from affected people, collecting samples for testing, and conducting inspections of licensed food facilities. Investigations help us discover and correct problems that might cause illness and prevent future illness from occurring. You can help by reporting illnesses you suspect might be foodborne.

Reporting a possible foodborne illness

We takes all complaints regarding food safety and foodborne illness seriously. If you believe that you became ill from something you ate we would like to know. You will be asked about the illness you experienced, factors (both food and non-food) that may have caused your illness, and a 72-hour food history. Contrary to popular belief, the last food that was eaten before symptoms began often is not the cause of illness.

Please call 419-468-1075 x1265 to report possible foodborne illness.

For licensed food facilities

Food employees, managers or persons-in-charge, and owners should consider all reports of possible foodborne illness legitimate. Employees should direct all such calls to the manager or person in charge immediately. Use these guidelines as a reference when gathering information related to a possible foodborne illness.

  1. Write down:
    • Date and time of call
    • Name, address and phone number of person calling
    • Name of each person that became ill and symptoms
    • What foods and/or drinks each person consumed
    • What time of day the meal was eaten
    • Other information that seems important

  2. Notify the Galion City Health Department of reports of possible foodborne illness immediately by calling 419-468-1075 x 1265 during normal business hours, or call Galion Police Dispatch at 419-468-9111 after hours.

  3. Preserve suspect leftover food. Label container with contents and date. Store the samples in a refrigerator.

  4. Look at your food flow carefully. Put any needed corrective measures in place.

  5. Prevent foodborne illness
    • Exclude ill employees from food preparation and service activities.
    • Practice good personal hygiene including proper handwashing and minimizing hand-to-food contact with ready to eat foods.
    • Keep potentially hazardous foods out of the temperature danger zone (41°F-135°F).
    • Take precautions against cross-contamination.

What is foodborne illness?

There are hundreds of bacteria, viruses, and chemicals that can contaminate food or water and cause illness. Any illness that is caused by eating contaminated food or water is considered a foodborne illness. Symptoms may appear almost immediately or as long as 70 days later depending on the cause. Some common symptoms are diarrhea, fever, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin color), and sore throat with fever. Foodborne illness usually arises from improper food handling, preparation, or storage; or poor hygiene practices before, during, and after food preparation. Illness may be caused by foods prepared at home or in a licensed food facility. Most foodborne illness is preventable.
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