Foodborne Illness/Food Outbreaks/ Food Recalls
The following links to the right provide information on state and federal levels for the most recent food recalls.
If you believe that you have contracted an illness as a result of food you have eaten recently please contact the District Health Department No.4 office in your county. If you reside outside of District Health Department No.4 follow the link on the right to find the Health Department contact information for the county in which you reside.
Select the link to the Center for Disease Control for information on foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States.
What should you do if you think you have foodborne illness?
First, seek medical attention if your illness is perceived to be severe or prolonged (symptomatic for more than 24 hours)
Second, contact the Environmental Health Division of District Health Department No.4 to report a food borne illness incident and preserve (refrigerate separately in original container) any food that is left over from the suspect meal.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture defines a foodborne disease outbreak as an incident where:
- Two or more persons, not of the same household, have ingested a common food and have a similar disease, symptoms, or excrete the same pathogens (disease causing microorganisms) and there is a time, place, or person association between these persons; or
- There is a single case of suspected botulism, mushroom poisoning, paralytic shellfish poisoning, or other rare disease; or
- There is a case of a disease or poisoning that can be definitively related to the ingestion of food.
The most common causes of foodborne illness:
- Failure to cook and/or hold foods at proper temperature
- Failure to properly cool foods
- Preparation of food by an ill food service worker
- Poor personal hygiene of food service workers
- Issues involving cross-contamination
Most foodborne illnesses are associated with one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps or diarrhea. Symptoms typically last only a few days, however some cases may be more severe and, if so, then your health care provider should be consulted.
The Health Department is required by state law to investigate suspected incidents of food borne illnesses. As part of the reporting process of food borne illness to the Health Department, persons will be requested to provide information related to the food borne illness. The form Gastrointestinal Illness Interview Form; (see link on right) will need to be completed by the Health Department staff for persons involved in a food borne illness complaint.