What are foodborne outbreaks?
When two or more people get sick from eating the same contaminated food, this is called a foodborne outbreak. Many people think of foodborne outbreaks as something that happened when a group of people got sick after eating contaminated food at the same restaurant or potluck. However, many outbreaks have happened among people who live far apart and eat food that was contaminated where it was grown or prepared before it was distributed in stores or restaurants across different states.
Foodborne outbreaks have been linked to many different types of contaminated food and drinks, including fruits and vegetables, raw dairy products, seafood, chicken, beef, pork, and processed foods (such as flour, cereal, and peanut butter). Raw or undercooked meat (including chicken and seafood) and animal products (like eggs or milk) are most likely to be contaminated with germs that can make people sick and cause foodborne outbreaks.
How can I help prevent foodborne outbreaks?
You can help the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) track and investigate foodborne outbreaks. If you think you have a foodborne illness:
Report it to your local health department
– local health departments tell CDPH about foodborne illnesses so that CDPH and public health officials can identify and control outbreaks and prevent more people from getting sick.
See a doctor or healthcare provider to get tested – tests can help determine what kind of germ or chemical made you sick.
Keep track of what and where you ate in the past week – the food that made you sick is often not the last food you ate!