Foodborne Illness

Fact Sheet Table of Contents

What is Foodborne Illness?

A foodborne illness is a disease that is carried or transmitted to people by food. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or chemicals. Most people call this "food poisoning."


  1. Foodborne illness is controlled by:
  2. Maintaining food temperatures
  3. Good personal hygiene practices
  4. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing
  5. Pest control
  6. Avoiding chemical hazards

Proper training of all employees in the importance of these factors will go a long way in preventing a foodborne illness from occurring in your facility. Employees should also be informed that proper handwashing is the best defense against the spread of germs that can cause foodborne illness.

What to do?

If a customer complains of illness that implicates food from your facility, you should notify the Health Department immediately. An investigation can determine the source of the illness. Any problems that originate in your facility can be corrected immediately.

These steps can help you minimize economic loss and harm to your reputation. The Health Department will work with you to prevent possible outbreaks of foodborne disease.