Food Facility Complaints & Reporting Foodborne Illness

Food Facility Complaints & Foodborne Illness

Food Facility Complaints

If you see questionable food safety practices and/or possible health code violations at a food facility at UC Davis, you may complete the online complaint form to file a complaint with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). Upon submitting the form, the individual may be contacted by a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) for further inquiry.  

Food facilities at UC Davis are required to keep a copy of their most recent inspection report and make it available for review upon request.

Improper food practices that violate the health code are often times unreported however when an individual files a complaint , appropriate action is taken to resolve the issue before it leads to an imminent health hazard.  

Foodborne Illness Complaints

To file a complaint regarding a food borne illness, (Illness contracted from consuming food) complete the online complaint form. 

The primary tool used to investigate a foodborne illness complaint is the foodborne illness supplemental questionnaire. The questionnaire which covers symptoms experienced along with a three day food history log provides crucial information to the REHS. It is very important to record the three day food history as quickly as possible before the individuals memory fades. Specialists utilize this information as part of their investigation of the food facility. Once a food borne illness complaint is submitted, a REHS will be in communication with the reporting individual regarding the supplemental questionnaire. 

If the outbreak is over 15 people, please contact police dispatch to have an on-call representative from EH&S respond.

* NOTE This protocol does not provide guidance diagnosis of a foodborne illness - for diagnosis and treatment of foodborne illness, please seek medical advice.

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.