If You are Ill from Food Poisoning

Seek Medical Advice

Contact your health care provider, especially if you are:

  • Pregnant, elderly, or have a weak immune system, or if the ill person is an infant. Any of these circumstances put people at higher risk of getting sick if exposed to foodborne germ, virus or bug (parasite), and at higher risk of serious complications.
  • Having severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, severe nausea and vomiting or a high fever.

Save Clues for Food Safety Investigators

If you think your illness may have been caused by something you ate, follow these steps to help DHEC or federal food safety officials investigate your claim:

  • If any of the suspect food remains, wrap it securely, write Danger - Do Not Eat on the wrapping or container, and refrigerate it.
  • Save all the packaging materials or the container the food came in.
  • If you have any identical unopened products, save them.
  • Write down the food type, where you got it, and the date and time of day you ate it.
  • Also write down the date and time of day when you first noticed symptoms of illness.

Report Your Illness

Contact us immediately if the food believed to have made you sick was served at a large gathering (such as a church supper) or came from a restaurant, cafeteria, or other type of food service establishment, especially if others have also become sick from the same source.

How to File a Complaint

File an online complaint about sanitation or food handling procedures at a S.C. food service establishment.

Complain about sanitation or unsafe procedures involving food served by a hospital, nursing home or other regulated medical facility.

To file a complaint about an out-of-state food businesses, please contact the public health department in that state.

Health care professionals must follow the procedure listed in South Carolina's 2013 List of Reportable Conditions (pdf) to notify DHEC of certain foodborne diseases.


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