Food Safety/Recalls

Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness) Facts

  • Improperly cooked food
  • Improperly stored food
  • Contamination of food by ill food preparer
  • Contamination of food by other contaminated food
  • Contamination of food from environmental sources (dirt, animal feces). Some foods commonly have bacteria on them when purchased. This is why raw or undercooked chicken can be dangerous. The risk of exposure to food borne bacteria and viruses can occur in the home, in restaurants and at community meals like a church supper.

Call the Columbia County Division of Health for information about reporting a possible foodborne illness (608) 742-9227.

Protect Yourself from Food-Related Illnesses

Simple Ways to Protect Yourself from Food-Related Illnesses

WASH YOUR HANDS

  1. Wash your hands before preparing food.
  2. Wash your hands after handling foods, especially uncooked meats.
  3. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
  4. Use soap and rub hands together for at least 20 seconds.

Keep hot foods HOT

  1. Cook foods adequately. ( Use a thermometer to test the internal temperature.)
  2. Keep them hot until served. (Internal temperature of 135° F or higher)

Keep cold foods COLD

  1. Keep cold foods cold. (Internal temperatures at or below 41° F)
  2. Cool hot foods quickly for storage in the refrigerator or freezer.
  3. Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator

Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables
Don't cross contaminate foods

  1. Keep high risk foods like raw meat away from other foods, especially if those foods will not be cooked further.
  2. Wash all utensils (knives, cutting boards) that have been in contact with high risk foods with soap and water. Sanitize using a bleach solution as a final step before allowing items to air dry.

IMPORTANT: Don't prepare food for others when you are ill with diarrhea, vomiting or other illness that can be spread via food. Wash your hands with soap and water often.

Suspected Foodborne Illness

If you think you got sick eating food, call the Columbia County Division of Health at 608-742-9227.   Ask for Central Access.

Be prepared to talk about the following:

  • Symptoms?
  • When did symptoms start?
  • Where do you think you got sick and when did you eat there?
  • Did anyone else share the meal?
  • Did anyone else get sick?

Disclosure: Sometimes We Cannot Determine What Caused the Illness.


Reasons to call:
  • Help identify the situation where food was not handled safely and prevent other people from getting sick.
  • Get advice on how to protect yourself and your family.

List of food-related reportable communicable diseases:

  • Campylobacter enteritis
  • E-Coli 0157:H7
  • Giardiasis
  • Hepatitis viral type A
  • Listeriosis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Shigellosis
  • Yersiniosis

To view a description of the above communicable diseases see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention A-Z Index.