HAE

Foodborne illness or food poisoning is common, costly – and preventable. CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food every year.  You can get food poisoning after eating food that has been contaminated with a variety of germs (bacteria, viruses, parasites) or toxic substances (chemicals, natural toxins).  Food poisoning symptoms may range from mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ you swallowed. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include: upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.  After you consume contaminated food or drink, it may take hours or days before you develop symptoms. 

Most foodborne illnesses are caused by food handlers who work when they are sick, or have recently been sick.  Individuals who have vomiting or diarrhea are not allowed to work in a food establishment. Ill workers need to stay home from work for at least 24 hours after they are symptom free.

To prevent food contamination food service workers must wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, before and during food preparation, and not handling ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands.

The second most common cause of foodborne illness is due to lack of proper temperature control.  Foods must be held cold, below 41°F, or hot, above 135°F, to help prevent bacterial growth in them. When foods are held for prolonged periods of times between 41°F and 135°F, disease-causing bacteria can grow to unsafe levels.

If you think you got sick from eating at a food establishment in Larimer County, please complete the Illness Complaint Form.  Keep in mind it may take hours or days before you develop symptoms so the source of your illness may NOT be the last place that you ate.  Make sure the provided contact information is accurate so Health Department can contact you to verify the submitted information.