What is Foodborne Illness?


Foodborne illness is caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Common symptoms of foodborne illness are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

If you have any of the symptoms above, see a doctor. If you have a concern or complaint about food safety in a restaurant in Fairfax County, Fairfax City or the City of Falls Church, please contact the Food Safety Section of the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-246-2444.

Below are links for more detailed information on foodborne illness.

The key to preventing foodborne illness is proper hand washing.

When to wash hands to prevent foodborne illness:

  • after using the restroom
  • after touching hair, face or body
  • after eating, drinking or smoking
  • before food preparation
  • after handling raw meat and poultry
  • during food preparation - when changing tasks
  • after handling cleaning chemicals
  • after taking out the garbage or trash

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