Polk County Health Department

To Investigate a Food-borne Illness

A food-borne outbreak is discovered by a telephone call from a doctor, clinic, ill person, or other person. The PCHD will investigate as a food-borne illness only if there are two or more sick people from different households. The Iowa State Department of Inspection and Appeals (281-6538) is contacted to investigate the restaurant or food establishment that prepared the food. The PCHD will do interviews to determine signs and symptoms of illness and what foods were eaten. (A copy of the menu is needed.) Specimens from ill people are obtained. All of this data is analyzed to determine what caused the outbreak.

To report a food-borne outbreak, you can call 286-3798, or to report a restaurant that you feel is in violation of food safety, call 281-6538.

A link where you can learn more is: Iowa Department of Public Health - Food Safety Search

Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033
Toll free: 866-209-1300

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314