Foodborne Illness



The Foodborne Illness Investigation program investigates all complaints received with illness associated with the consumption of food. The purchase of food must have occurred within Oklahoma City limits and Oklahoma County. If you would like to report a foodborne illness, please contact 405-425-4347; please have the name and location of restaurant where food was purchased. When you submit your complaint, we will ask what you have eaten in the past 72 hours to identify other sources of the foodborne illness.

Once a foodborne illness has been reported a phone inspection or in-person inspection will be conducted. An inspection is only a snapshot of what occurs in a restaurant. Temperature of foods are taken to make sure food is maintained in safe temperature zones, and employees are observed for cross contamination issues and education is performed with employees to avoid future food borne illness.

Oklahoma City County Health Department does not have the means to test private food samples.

Foodborne illnesses are caused when food is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The transmission of a foodborne illness can be passes from person to person, by not washing hands, by not handling food properly such as cross contamination, or not maintaining food at proper temperature.

Often, a foodborne outbreak is identified by linking several complaints from one person to several others who have eaten at the same location over a period of time. If you would like to know more about current outbreaks, please visit the FDA website.

The most common foodborne illnesses are:

Norovirus – symptoms occur 12 to 48 hours after initial exposure

Salmonella – Symptoms occur 6 hours to 6 days after initial exposure

Clostridium perfringens – Symptoms occur 6 to 24 hours after initial exposure

Campylobacter – Symptoms occur 2 to 5 days after initial exposure

Staphylococcus aureus – Symptoms occur 30 minutes to 8 hours after initial exposure

Clostridium botulinum (botulism) -Symptoms occur 18 to 36 hours after initial exposure

Listeria -Symptoms occur 1 to 4 weeks after initial exposure

Escherichia coli (E. coli) -Symptoms occur 3 to 4 days after initial exposure

Vibrio – Symptoms occur within 24 hours of initial exposure


Frequently Asked Questions

For more information regarding Foodborne Illness, please contact the specific 
Program Coordinator