(Food Poisoning) Investigations
The Environmental Health and Safety
Office (EH&S) responds to
all reports of suspected foodborne illnesses implicating food sold
or served on campus property. Our goals for this program are as follows:
- Identify the foods
(if applicable) responsible for the illness.
- Collect accurate and
complete information from the person(s) involved.
- Collect samples of
the suspected food (when possible and appropriate).
- Identify possible contributing
- Correct the improper
food handling practices that may have contributed to the illness.
Important Facts about Foodborne Illnesses (Food Poisoning)
- Although signs and
symptoms for illnesses vary, the most common symptoms are vomiting,
abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
- Most cases of food
borne illness last between 24-48 hours.
- Symptoms typically
appear between 2 to 36 hours after eating the problem food. This
means the problem food often is not the last thing you ate.
- Most cases of food
borne illness are single cases and not associated with large outbreaks.
Reporting a Possible Foodborne Illness (Food Poisoning)
In order to help EH&S conduct a prompt and thorough investigation,
please be ready with the following information when you call EH&S
to report a possible food borne illness (food poisoning):
- Step 1: Contact your medical service provider as soon as possible. The physician’s diagnosis is a key element in assisting our office in determining whether you became ill from eating food at the facility or from the vending machine on campus.
- Step 2: After seeing your physician, contact EH&S immediately at (949)-824-4170. Please be ready to provide the following information before placing the call; this information is vital for EH&S to properly follow-up on your request.
name, address and telephone number. Also, the names and telephone
numbers of other people if they also became ill. This information
is kept confidential but it is important for EH&S to have the
ability to contact you for additional information related to the
WHERE : The name of the campus food
SUSPECTED FOOD: Describe all food eaten
during the meal suspected of causing the illness.Additionally, it is
important to note the date and time the food was eaten as well as the
date and time of the first symptoms.
List all symptoms experienced during the illness. This information
will help EH&S ininvestigating
the food facility.
FOOD HISTORY : Be prepared to answer
questions regarding all food eaten and beverages consumed in the three
days prior to the first sign of illness. Many food borne illness organisms
can have incubation periods of three days or longer. The food history
is necessary to help the Health Inspector identify the most likely
suspected food item.
For more detailed information on foodborne illnesses and/or to report
a suspected food borne illness, please call (949)-824-4170.
Document Initiator: Jim Pack