Public Health Saves Lives
Kentucky Food Safety Reporting System
This document provides possible questions the public may have regarding the Food Safety Reporting System for their respective local public health departments.
Link to Survey – foodsafetyreporting.ky.gov
What is KY Food Safety Reporting?
- KY Food Safety Reporting is a surveillance tool for food safety intended for statewide use at the local and state level.
- It is a way for people to report foodborne illness (like food poisoning), issues with food products (something in your food that shouldn’t have been there) or unsafe food practices (like an employee not washing their hands or a restaurant not being clean).
- Data is gathered through REDCap surveys, which can then be exported for analysis.
- KY Food Safety Reporting provides public health officials with a way to monitor foodborne illness, food contamination and food safety malpractice while directly collaborating with the public.
What is Food Safety Reporting for? Complete this form:
- If you think you got sick from a specific food (food poisoning);
This can be pre-packaged foods from a grocery store OR food you eat from a restaurant.
- If you witness bad food practices (employees not washing hands, etc.); or
- If you find something in your food that isn’t supposed to be there.
What happens after I submit a complaint?
- Your local health department and state health department will analyze your response and other responses to find patterns.
- If a pattern is identified the food item or establishment may require an inspection to identify the root cause of the issue.
- A representative of your local health department may reach out to you to gather additional information.
Is the survey anonymous?
- The survey is not anonymous. The only identifiable information collected will be your name and contact information (for contact tracing purposes).
- The establishment named in your survey response will NOT be able to see your complaint or any of your identifying information.
- Only state and local public health officials will have access to any identifiable information.
- Submitted information to this survey will not be public.
Is this only for establishments in Kentucky?
Yes, this is only for Kentucky establishments. For establishments in other states, please reach out to their respective local or state public health departments.
Is this only for Kentucky residents?
No, anyone with a complaint regarding an establishment or food in Kentucky can fill out this survey.
Does this relate to food recalls?
The complaint system will be shared with food safety staff who handle recalls, and if a recalled food product made you sick, you can report it here. Patterns identified in the system could help determine a need for a recall.
What if I am not sure which specific food made me sick?
- The survey is designed to gather as much information as possible about the food(s) you have eaten in the time period leading up to your illness.
- Even though you think you have gotten sick from the last foods you’ve eaten, this may just be due to what is called “last meal bias”, which is believing the last food you ate is what made you sick, when other food you may have eaten during the previous 3-5 days would more likely have made you sick.
- Provide details of the meal or food (including toppings, condiments, side dishes, drinks, etc.) that most likely contributed to your illness when filling out the survey.
- To avoid “Last meal bias” it is important to remember as many foods you’ve eaten in the last 3-5 days as possible when answering questions on the survey.
What if I made food at home and I think it made me sick?
- If you believe a food product bought from a grocery store is the cause of your illness, you can report it through this survey.
- https://www.fda.gov/consumers/free-publications-women/food-safety-home (link contains more information on at-home food safety).
Should I seek medical care if I am sick when I fill out the survey, should I seek medical care?
- We recommend seeking medical attention, if needed, before completing this survey.
- This survey information is not accessible by healthcare providers and will not be used for treatment or diagnostic purposes.
Can I use this to report other issues at establishments?
Only issues related to food or food safety practices should be reported through this system. For example, complaints about the service of an establishment, or other complaints that do not directly relate to the safety of the food should not be submitted through this survey.
Updated: October 13, 2022