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Food Safety

Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County

Food Concerns 

Food and water-borne diseases can occur when a person consumes a food or drink that has been contaminated with a pathogen. The most common type of food related pathogens are bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Examples of these pathogens are: salmonella, lysteria, botulism, cyclospora, norovirus, giardia, and E. coli.

The environmental epidemiology section of the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County evaluates all food or waterborne illness complaints to determine if an outbreak has occurred. An outbreak is when two or more people get the same disease from the same place at the same time. The goal of each outbreak investigation is to determine the source of the disease, eliminate the risk to the public, and provide education on disease prevention.

Foodborne Illness Reporting 

After consuming food or drinks containing pathogens the individual may start to feel symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches and/or fever. If you believe that you have become ill after eating at a public facility, please report your illness to our Environmental Health office by calling 850-564-2230. Be prepared to tell us the following information:

  • The name and location of the establishment
  • The date and time you were there
  • Specifics on what you ate
  • If anyone ate with you and if anyone else is ill
  • The date and time of your first symptoms

Prevention Methods 

Here are a few tips to keep you safe from food-borne illnesses:

  • Wash hands properly
  • Avoid cross contamination of foods (keep raw foods separate from cooked foods)
  • Cook foods to the proper temperature - to see a chart, visit the Food Safety webpage
  • Thaw foods slowly - in your refrigerator or by using cold water
  • Cool hot foods down quickly and store them in shallow containers
  • Keep cold foods at 40°F or below and hot foods above 140°F
  • Don't keep perishable foods for longer than 7 days
For more information visit Food