PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

6/1/2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:060118A
Subject:
Health Department Launches New Online Foodborne Illness Reporting System
Contact:
Jennifer A. Gonzalez
Outreach & Risk Communication Specialist/PIO
Department of Health & Human Services
562.570.4290
Jennifer.Gonzalez@longbeach.gov




To further the City’s commitment to health and safety, as it relates to foodborne illness prevention in Long Beach, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is pleased to launch a new online reporting system that will make it easier for residents to report foodborne illness in the city.  Online reporting is a proven and efficient method for gathering information that can help prevent foodborne illness.

The Foodborne Illness Incident Report is now available on the Health Department website.  This system can be used by any member of the public to file a complaint if they believe that they have become sick after eating food or drinking a beverage from a food establishment in Long Beach.

“This new reporting system will help us keep our residents safe by preventing foodborne illness,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Using technology to detect outbreaks will give us a better opportunity to respond more quickly and ensure that our Long Beach restaurants and patrons are also safe.”

Approximately 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness (food poisoning) each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Foodborne illnesses often catch media attention during multistate outbreaks such as the currently ongoing romaine lettuce E. coli O157 outbreak and the egg shell Salmonella outbreak.

“Platforms such as Yelp and IwasPoisoned.com already exist as avenues to report complaints or leave reviews,” explained Environmental Health Bureau Manager Nelson Kerr. “However, the Health Department Foodborne Illness Incident Reportwill collect more detailed information, allowing our health inspectors to promptly investigate, take action, and make corrections if needed to prevent further illnesses.”

The Health Department’s Consumer Protection Program consistently works alongside food establishments to ensure that the food sold and served in Long Beach is safe, wholesome, properly labeled, and produced under sanitary conditions. The Health Department also tracks foodborne illness by asking hospitals to report increases of gastrointestinal illness in their emergency departments, but often the most valuable indicators are reports from the public to identify possible outbreaks within the city.

Food poisoning can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Although anyone can get food poisoning, some people, such as women who are pregnant, young children, and older adults, are more likely to develop severe illness. It is also important to remember that food poisoning could occur from anything consumed typically within three days, and not always from the last thing consumed.

“This new electronic reporting system will expedite the way residents can report foodborne illness in Long Beach, thus allowing our inspectors to visit food facilities more quickly and get ahead of any potential outbreaks in our city,” said Dr. Anissa Davis, City Health Officer.

The report form can be found on the Health Department website at www.longbeach.gov/foodpoisoning. Reports can also be made by calling the Health Department at (562) 570-4302.

About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services

The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.