September 7, 2005
September 1, 2015
Food Borne Illness
To provide Culinary and Clinical Nutrition Services personnel with guidelines for handling
suspected or reported foodborne illness associated with food. Careful investigation of foodborne
disease outbreaks (to include waterborne) is essential for disease prevention and control.
Suspect foodborne disease outbreak - an incident in which 1) two or more persons experience a
similar illness, usually gastrointestinal, after ingestion of a common food, and 2) data are
insufficient for epidemiologic analysis, however, a specific meal or food source is suspected.
Foodborne disease complaint - an initial report of illness, usually gastrointestinal, which occurs
after ingestion of food.
A. Health care practitioners who suspect possible foodborne illness should immediately
contact Infection Control personnel.
B. Infection Control personnel, under direction of the Hospital Epidemiologist, will ultimately
be responsible for actions taken to confirm or reject the possibility of foodborne illness,
potentially associated with hospital food.
C. Public Affairs personnel, under direction of the Hospital Epidemiologist and Superintendent
or designee, will serve as spokesman to the news media.
D. This document empowers the aforementioned hospital personnel to pursue possible
foodborne disease occurring in UWHC personnel, patient, or visitors that may have
ingested food prepared outside the hospital (i.e. by a caterer) to ascertain if such
introduced foodborne illness could pose a hazard to hospital personnel or patients.
E. Culinary and Clinical Nutrition Services Director will be informed of all suspect foodborne
Wisconsin Food Code. Department of Health.
1. Complaint is followed up on to gather all pertinent information (e.g. verify name of person,
food item, location of service, etc.).
2. Food is removed from location and facility inspected.
3. The University Health Services, Environmental and Health Occupation Unit at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison is contacted at 608.890.4371.
Director, Culinary and Clinical Nutrition Services