We deal with many victims of food borne illness, often while they or family members are still being treated at hospitals and clinics. Many of them use the Internet in those moments of crisis to find an attorney. So, we cannot rule out the possibility that victims of food borne illness will also go on-line and fill out a lengthy questionnaire that ultimately will be shared with their local or regional health department.
That’s exactly what the National Food Safety & Toxicology Center at Michigan State University wants victims of food borne illnesses to do. They want anyone suffering from food poisoning to go to www.ReportFoodPoisoning.com and take about 20 minutes to fill out a report that will then be submitted to health department with jurisdiction over the specific case.
Goal of the project is to increase reporting of food borne illnesses. Currently only 1-2 percent of all food borne illnesses get reported to health officials. The on-line questionnaire requires the victim to submit pretty much the same information they would be asked to provide if interviewed in person by health officials.
Personal characteristics, residential information, symptoms, non-food exposures, food sources and a four day food history are all included in the on-line report.
Michigan universities and health agencies at the state and local levels designed the project.
We will be looking forward to finding out how its doing down the road.