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Foodborne Illness

Various bacteria and viruses can cause illness. These disease causing organisms can be spread when proper food handling procedures are not followed.

The most effective things you can do to prevent the spread of foodborne illness are wash your hands, avoid touching ready to eat foods with your bare hands, and do not prepare or handle food when you are ill. Keeping hot foods hot, cold foods cold, and avoiding cross-contamination are also important food safety procedures.

If you suspect you have been exposed to a foodborne illness, please contact the Environmental Health Division. We will begin an investigation and try to help prevent the further spread of the illness. Please visit your doctor if necessary. We do not provide medical services.

Please review the following links for information about specific illnesses and organisms.

  • Botulism
  • Campylobacteriosis (infection)
  • Clostridium perfringens poisoning
  • Escherichia coli infection
  • Hepatitis A
  • Listeriosis
  • Norwalk-like virus
  • Salmonella poisoning
  • Shigellosis (bacillary dysentery)
  • Staph food poisoning
  • Vibriosis
  • Yersiniosis (infection)

You can also find more information about foodborne illnesses (and preventing them) at the following websites:

Food Safety Information for Consumers – Washington State University
Complete information about how to prevent foodborne illness – food temperatures, hygiene, cross-contamination, and more.

Bad Bug Book – U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Detailed technical glossary of many foodborne illnesses.

Clallam County Health & Human Services
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