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Report Foodborne Illness in Douglas County, Nebraska

If you think you have a foodborne illness, and you live or consumed food in Douglas County, Nebraska, click on the link above to report it. You can help us find contaminated food by telling us about your illness and what foods you ate before you got sick. If we know of other people who ate the same food and also got sick, we might be able to identify the contaminated food and prevent others from getting sick. If you know of others who are also sick, please encourage them to report it by going to the above link. It is also important to talk to your health care provider. He or she may want to order a laboratory test which may identify organisms or toxins. Knowing what organism caused your illness would help us identify where it might have come from.

What causes foodborne illness?

Foodborne illness can be caused by microorganisms (such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites) or toxins. After a person is infected by a foodborne illness-causing organism by consumption of contaminated food or contact with another ill person, there is a delay or “incubation period” before symptoms appear. This can range from less than an hour to days, depending on what caused your illness. This means that the last foods consumed before symptoms start may not be the cause of illness. See Foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes for more information.

What can I do to protect myself and my family from foodborne illness?

The Basics: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill

You can help prevent food poisoning from bacteria and viruses by following four simple steps when you prepare food:

  • CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate!
  • COOK: Cook to proper temperature
  • CHILL: Refrigerate promptly

CLEAN - Clean your hands with soap and warm water before handling food. Clean surfaces before preparing food on them.

SEPARATE - Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless it has been cleaned thoroughly.

COOK - Cook foods to a safe internal temperature (See Chart). Use a meat thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature. Color is not an indicator of doneness.

CHILL - Chill foods promptly after serving and when transporting from one place to another. Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.


OTHER RESOURCES

FoodSafety.gov “gateway to federal food safety resources”

Food Safety at a Glance (Information on preparing, cooking, and storing food)

Food Safety Page at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Douglas County Health Department Contact Information:

Epidemiology Section (Disease Surveillance/Outbreak Investigation) - (402) 444-7214

Food & Drink Section (Restaurant Inspection and Licensing) - (402) 444-7480

 

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