Food Illness & Complaints


Getting sick with vomiting and diarrhea after eating is commonly called food poisoning. Foodborne illness is most likely caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasites. 

To prevent more people from getting sick, please report to us any illness that you suspect may be related to in Snohomish County public food or water source such as a: 

  • Campsite
  • Grocery store
  • Public event
  • Restaurant

Food HandlingSafe Temperature Tips

Don’t get sick from spoiled or improperly cooked foods. The Snohomish Health District advises you to discard all potentially hazardous foods. When in doubt, throw it out! Here is some helpful information to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Wash hands and food prep areas frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid reusing utensils that have touched raw meat.
  • If you are sick, do not help with the cooking.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
  • Store meats and other perishables at cold temperatures - 40 degrees F or colder.
  • Always cook meats to safe internal temperatures.


Most people recover from a foodborne illness (such as norovirus) without any lasting effects, but it is important that we investigate these occurrences to ensure that more people do not get sick.

The most common symptoms of foodborne illness include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Report Foodborne Illness in Snohomish County

If you believe you became ill with vomiting or diarrhea within 72 hours (3 days) after eating in a restaurant or purchasing food in Snohomish County, please contact us for a brief phone interview at 425.339.3503.

If you have a serious case of foodborne illness, please seek medical attention first.

Unsanitary or Unsafe Conditions in Food Establishments

If you are concerned about unsanitary or unsafe conditions in a Snohomish County food establishment, submit a complaint online. The Environmental Health Division follows up on complaints to ensure that businesses are safely following the food safety rules and regulations. Please do not use this form to report possible food-borne illness.

Don’t get sick from spoiled foods. With power outages, the risk of foodborne illnesses increases. Make sure to monitor freezer and refrigerator food temperatures. If power has been off for an extended period of time, the Snohomish Health District advises you to discard all potentially hazardous foods. When in doubt, throw it out!