The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) monitors foodborne illness cases and outbreaks across the state of Nebraska through the use of a public health surveillance system.
DHHS collaborates with many partners such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, local, state, and federal partners to detect, investigate, control, and report foodborne disease cases and outbreaks.
Foodborne illness (food poisoning) is caused by consuming contaminated food, beverages, or water and can be a variety of bacteria, parasites, viruses and/or toxins. Many of these pathogens can be acquired through more than just food, beverages, or water. They may be acquired through person-to-person spread, animal contact, the environment, and recreational or drinking water.
The incubation period (the time between exposure to the pathogen and onset of symptoms) may begin within hours after being exposed or may begin days later. Common symptoms of foodborne illness are:
Everyone is at risk of getting a foodborne illness. However, some people are at a greater risk of becoming seriously ill or even dying from a foodborne illness:
A few simple steps can reduce the risk of foodborne diseases:
If you live in or the restaurant is located in Lancaster County, please contact Lancaster County Local Health Department at (402) 441-6280.
If you live in or the restaurant is located in Douglas County, please contact Douglas County Health Department at (402) 444-7480.
If you live in or the restaurant is located in Hall, Hamilton, or Merrick County, please contact Central District Health Department at (308) 385-5175.
For all other counties, please contact Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Food Safety and Consumer Protection at (402) 471-3422.
No. If you are experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, or have a fever, you should not work. You should be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to work. Working while sick increases the risk of spreading illness to others.
If you are a food handler and experiencing illness or have a diagnosis from your doctor, you must report to your manager and follow proper exclusions as stated in the Nebraska Food Code.
There are many steps involved in a foodborne outbreak investigation.