Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has announced the launch of a new website where Kentucky residents can easily report foodborne illnesses quickly and easily. The website also enables state public health officials to investigate cases more efficiently and centralizes statewide data on foodborne diseases.
Kentucky’s new food safety reporting website provides the state’s first-ever centralized system for foodborne illness data collection, which was previously only handled at the local level. Local health departments’ decisions to conduct foodborne illness outbreak investigations are based on the number of people that are ill, the symptoms that ill people exhibit, the onset and duration of illnesses, whether people are still becoming sick, which foods may be associated with cases of illness, and how many people were potentially exposed. The aim of the new food safety reporting website is to quickly gather such information from consumers and deliver it to health departments, which will help public health officials take appropriate actions.
The website offers an online form for gathering information that can provide clues to the suspected food vehicle of illness. When the online form is submitted, the website sends an alert to Kentucky’s Department of Public Health’s Food Safety Branch and the appropriate local health department for follow-up. If needed, a multiagency response team with federal partners can be activated to minimize impact.