A complaint investigation is generated when the public informs the Monroe County Health Department that they have a concern about the sanitary conditions or food handling procedures of a food service establishment. Often times, a routine inspection and a complaint investigation will be performed simultaneously. We generally respond to complaints with 24 hours after receiving the complaint.
II. FOODBORNE ILLNESS/OUTBREAK INVESTIGATIONS
A foodborne illness outbreak is defined as"An illness that occurs between two or more people who are unrelated and have eaten a common food that a lab has confirmed as the source of the outbreak."
Many cases of foodborne Illnesses go unreported as consumers are unaware that gastrointestinal symptoms are often caused by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated by bacteria, viruses or toxins produced by certain bacteria. If a food service establishment is suspected of causing a foodborne Illness or an outbreak, the following procedures are used:
· A food case history is taken and recorded from the consumers who have become ill.
· The food specialist staff members visit the food service establishment where suspect food was served.
· Staff from Food Protection will perform an investigation at the suspected establishment. Employees will be interviewed, food handling procedures are scrutinized and sanitary conditions of the establishment are documented. Employees and management are also asked about their health status and stool samples will be collected if needed.
· Food samples are collected if available and sent to the Indiana State Department of Health Lab in Indianapolis.
· If an outbreak is confirmed, personnel from ISDH will assist in the Epidemiology Investigation, collect and analyze samples, and assist the local Health Department in developing a sanitation plan for the food establishment implicated in the outbreak.
For up to date foodborne illness information and food recalls: