Foodborne Illness Information

The Environmental Health Division responds to all reports of suspected foodborne illnesses implicating food sold or served within San Luis Obispo County. Our goals for this program are as follows:

  • Identify the foods (if applicable) responsible for the illness.
  • Collect accurate and complete information from the persons involved.
  • Collect samples of the suspected food (when possible and appropriate).
  • Identify possible contributing factors.
  • Correct the improper food handling practices that may have contributed to the illness.

Important Facts about Foodborne Illnesses (Food Poisoning)

  • Although signs and symptoms for illnesses vary, the most common symptoms are vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
  • Most cases of foodborne illness last between 24-48 hours.
  • Symptoms typically appear between 2 to 36 hours after eating the problem food. This means the problem food often is not the last thing you ate.
  • Most cases of foodborne illness are single cases and not associated with large outbreaks.

To report a suspected foodborne illness (food poisoning) related to retail food facilities, such as restaurants and markets, within San Luis Obispo County: 

Complete the Foodborne Illness Investigation form and email or fax the County of San Luis Obispo Environmental Health Services

  • Email:  Email completed form to: [email protected]
  • In Person:  Submit completed form to front counter staff​


Reportable Disease Information
Disease Reporting for Healthcare Providers and Laboratories
US Dept of Health and Human Services Food Safety Information
CDC Food Safety/Foodborne Illness Information