Foodborne Illness Reporting
How to Report a Foodborne Illness
Do you think you got sick from something you ate? Let us know by answering a few questions about your symptoms, places you've visited, and what you ate. Please use our safe, online report or call us directly at (608) 266-4821.
The information you report through this website is safe, secure and confidential.
Your report is automatically sent to Public Health Madison & Dane County, and only authorized staff can access it. Information you provide will not be shared with restaurants or any other third parties.
Seek Medical Advice
Contact your health care provider, especially if you are:
- Pregnant, elderly, have a weak immune system, or if the ill person is an infant. Any of these conditions put people at higher risk of getting sick if exposed to germs in contaminated food, and at higher risk of developing serious medical problems.
- Having severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, severe nausea and vomiting or a high fever.
Protect Yourself and Others from Foodborne Illness
There are many causes of foodborne illness, such as:
- Improperly cooked or stored food
- Contamination of food by ill food preparer, other contaminated food, or environmental sources like dirty equipment or utensils.
The risk of exposure to food borne bacteria and viruses can occur in the home, in restaurants and at community meals like a potluck. Take these precautions to stay healthy.
Wash your hands
- Wash your hands before preparing food.
- Wash your hands after handling foods that may contain bacteria, like raw chicken or other meat.
- Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
Keep hot foods HOT
- Cook foods to proper temperatures.
- Keep the food hot until served.
Keep cold foods COLD
- Cool hot foods quickly for storage in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator.
- Keep cold food cold until served.
Don't cross contaminate food
- Keep raw meats away from other foods, especially if those foods will not be cooked further, like hamburger buns or lettuce.
- Wash all utensils (knives, cutting boards) that have been in contact with raw meats, poultry or fish with soap and water.
Don't prepare food for others if you have been sick
Norovirus is the most common cause of food poisoning. It spreads easily and causes diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
If you have been sick, disinfect surfaces and don't prepare food for 24–48 hours after your symptoms have gone away.