Food-borne illness is caused by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms may include:
- stomach cramps,
- nausea or fever;
Symptoms will vary depending on the type of micro-organism that caused the illness. According to Health Canada, it is estimated that between 11 and 13 million Canadians become ill each year with a food-borne illness (Food Related Illnesses, 2010, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/ill-intox/index-eng.php).
Preventing food-borne illness and ensuring food safety requires a joint effort between the consumer, industry and government agencies. The Grey Bruce Health Unit is responsible for activities such as:
- conducting compliance inspections of food premises (e.g. restaurants, long-term care facilities, community centres);
- investigating food-borne illnesses and complaints regarding food premises;
- assisting other agencies in food recalls;
- and, providing educational sessions to food handlers.
Allergy and health hazard alerts - Canadian Food Inspection Agency: www.inspection.gc.ca
Food safety and nutrition of food sold in Canada - Health Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Agriculture sector and processing industry - Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: www.omafra.gov.on.ca
If you would like to obtain more information on Food Safety, or information from food premises inspection reports, contact your nearest Health Unit office and speak to a Public Health Inspector.