Revised on
01/17/17 08:22am

Food Facility Complaints & Foodborne Illness

Contact information


If you see questionable food safety practices and/or possible violations of the California Retail Food Code at a food facility at UC Davis, or need to report an illness, email the help desk line at healthandsafety@ucdavis, or call the main office at (530) 752-1493. Seek medical attention immediately if you become ill from food on campus.

The primary tool used to investigate a possible foodborne illness is the three day food history. The food history is a list of foods eaten by the person three days prior to becoming ill. It is very important to record the food history as quickly as possible before the person's memory fades. To file a complaint, download the food history questionnaire, and submit to EH&S at The questionnaire includes several questions about the date and time the suspected food was consumed, symptoms and medical treatment/testing received.  This protocol does not provide guidance diagnosis of a foodborne illness. For diagnosis and treatment of foodborne illness, please seek medical advice.

If reporting occurs after normal business hours, please fill out a food history report, and fax to EH&S at 530-752-4527. If the outbreak is over 15 people, please contact police dispatch to have a representative from EH&S return to campus to complete food histories.

General Information about Foodborne Illnesses

Foodborne illness (often referred to as food poisoning) is any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food. Symptoms of food illness may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and other symptoms. 

There are two types of food poisoning: infectious agent and toxic agentFood infection refers to the presence of bacteria or other microbes which infect the body after consumption.

Food intoxication refers to the ingestion of toxins contained within the food, including toxins produced by bacteria, which can happen even when the microbe that produced the toxin is no longer present or able to cause infection.

In spite of the common term food poisoning, most cases are caused by a variety of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, rather than chemical or natural toxins.

Foodborne illness can also be caused by pesticides or medicines in food and naturally toxic substances like poisonous mushrooms or reef fish.