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Report a Problem with Food

If you think you or a family member has food poisoning or that food from a store or restaurant is contaminated, it is important to report the problem quickly and effectively.

Know the Sympotoms

Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to six weeks later. Although most people will recover from a foodborne illness within a short period of time, some can develop chronic, severe, or even life-threatening health problems.

Foodborne illness can sometimes be confused with other illnesses that have similar symptoms. The symptoms of foodborne illness can include:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body ache.

Report Food Poisoning

If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of a foodborne illness, call your health provider immediately.  If it’s an emergency, call 911.

If you believe you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food, contact your local health department. IDPH has a directory of local health departments available here: If you need additional assistance, contact the IDPH food program at or thru this map.

Investigating Problems with Food

To help public health investigate your concerns, be prepared to tell the local health department information about the illness, the food, and share photos or details.