REPORTING SUSPECTED FOODBORNE ILLNESSES

To report a suspected foodborne illness (food poisoning) related to retail food facilities located within Santa Clara County, please complete the questions below, provide as much detail as possible in order for us to investigate your complaint (required fields have a asterisk*).  If you prefer to report and be interviewed over the phone, please call (408) 918-3376 and leave a message. Your call will be returned Monday to Friday between 7:30 am - 4 pm. All provided information will remain confidential. This form is encrypted and secure. 

GENERAL GUIDELINES ABOUT REPORTING
  1. If you have a medical emergency, obtain treatment immediately at a nearby hospital or call 9-1-1.
  2. Report to the Department of Environmental Health (DEH)  as soon as possible.
  3. State the problem clearly. Describe the product as completely as possible. Give the name and address of the food facility where the product was consumed and the date and time of consumption.
  4. Report the problem directly to the restaurant/market where you purchased the product.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT FOODBORNE ILLNESS
  1. Foodborne illness (Food Poisoning) is an illness suspected to have resulted from consuming foods or beverages.
  2. There are over 250 organisms that can cause foodborne illness.
  3. Although signs and symptoms of foodborne illnesses vary, the most common symptoms are vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea.
  4. Most cases of foodborne illness are single cases and not associated with large outbreaks.
  5. The last meal consumed does not necessarily cause foodborne illness.
  6. Many illnesses can spread more than one way so we do not always know if the illness was caused by food.
Additionally, when a foodborne illness outbreak is first suspected, the germ that caused people to become sick is likely unknown. The identification of that germ by laboratory testing is a critical piece of the puzzle that will help focus the investigation. If you are ill with symptoms that you believe may be associated with an outbreak, it is recommended you see your doctor so that samples (like a stool specimen) can be collected for laboratory testing; alternatively, the Public Health Department where you live may request to collect specimens from you.

What Happens When I File A Foodborne Illness Report?

Once you hit submit, the report will be sent to DEH.  We may follow up with you if we need additional information. The report will be reviewed and followed by an environmental assessment. If warranted, an unannounced visit to the implicated food facility to ensure safe food handling practices are followed. Additionally, we will look for trends in other foodborne illness reports to see if there are commonalities that might suggest an outbreak has occurred. The goal is to get the information quickly from you, the consumer, and act quickly to prevent others from becoming sick. You will be contacted after an investigation has been completed to review the results.

*It may take approximately 10 minutes to complete the form.

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