Food Poisoning, Allergic Reactions and other Food Hazards

Foodstuffs or contaminated water can cause food poisoning. The poisoning can begin within a day from transmission, or it can begin with a couple days delay. Typical symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.  

An allergic reaction can be caused by touching or breathing allergens on top of eating them. Typical symptoms include rashes, swelling of mucous membrane and intestinal symptoms. Sudden and serious allergic reactions, anaphylactic reactions, can take effect almost immediately after eating allergens.  

Foreign objects, atypical tastes or smells can be found in foodstuffs that can be harmful to consumers. 

A taskforce, consisting of healthcare and environmental health care experts, investigates possible food poisoning epidemics.  

The consumer can announce suspicions to Food Control 

If you suspect a possible food poisoning or allergic reaction 

  • Consider what you have eaten and when 

  • If possible, store a sample of the food in your fridge 

  • Announce your suspicion on service

Food operator must announce the possible suspicion immediately to Food Control 

Announce any suspicions of food poisoning, allergic reaction or other health hazard caused by served food or sold foodstuff immediately. As the business owner, you must announce all suspicions to Food Control, even if the customer has already filed an announcement. You must make an announcement even if there is only one person.

Collect the needed information of the customer

Figure out what the customer has eaten and when. 

You may instruct the customer to file an announcement on service.

File an announcement to Food Control about the possible food poisoning, allergic reaction or other health hazard

  • You may use the online form on or
  • You may call environmental health care phone number 044 703 6700 or environmental health care staff 

File an announcement of any suspicion immediately, even if you haven’t collected the needed information from the customer. 

Take the needed food samples

Take and store food samples for possible analysis. Store a sample of 200-300 g per food. Store the sample in a clean dish or bag. Write down the sample’s name, preparation date and the date the sample was collected. Please save the menu as well.  

A health inspector decides on the analysis of the samples.  

Prevent further hazards

Consider if immediate action is needed. Is the suspected food product still distributed? Is is necessary to recall the product from retail or service? 

Do what must be done to prevent further poisoning or hazards.  

Write down instructions of what to do in situations of food poisoning or other health hazards in your own-check plan. 

The Environmental Office of the Oulu Region
Environmental Health Care
Environmental Health Care on-call service is open on weekdays 9.00-15.00. E-mail is read on weekdays.