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Reporting suspected food poisoning

When a suspected outbreak of illness or adverse reaction occurs, it is important that Food Control receives this information as soon as possible.

A food business operator must notify the municipal food control authority whenever they suspect that a food sold or served has caused food poisoning, an allergic reaction, or any other harm. Customers can also report cases of suspected illness or harm, such as suspected food poisoning, to the city’s environmental department’s Food Control.

‘Food poisoning’ as a term refers to an infection or poisoning from food or drinking water. Food poisoning is most often caused by bacteria or viruses or toxins produced by them. In addition, parasites, poisonous plants, animals, or fungi and chemical substances can all cause food poisoning.

The food business operator

If a food business operator becomes aware of a suspicion, or suspects that a food offered or sold has caused food poisoning, an allergic reaction, or other health hazard, the food business operator must immediately notify the food control authority. Such notification must be made even if there is only one person affected.

You can submit the notification electronically at (link).

In case of suspicion, please do the following:

  1. Find out from the customer what they have eaten and when.
    – You can instruct the customer to make the report by using the service.
  2. Report the incident to the food control authorities.
  3. Take food samples.
    Take food samples for possible testing and store them in the fridge or freezer. The sample quantity should be around 200–300 g per food or food ingredient. The sample is collected in a clean container or, for example, a freezer bag, and is labelled with the name of the food or ingredient, the date of preparation, and the date of sampling. The food control authority decides on the testing of the samples. Analysis of suspect samples is free of charge to the operator.
  4. Perform all necessary actions, such as checking that the food preservation conditions are in order, that the premises are clean, and so on.
  5. You can ask for more information from the food control authorities, if needed.


If you suspect that you might have had food poisoning, for example in a restaurant, it is important that you report it. By doing so, you can prevent someone else from getting food poisoning. You can also contact us if you have a complaint about the quality of the food you have bought, or if it caused you a suspicious adverse reaction, or if you made a potentially worrying observation in a food business or premises. Food Control will investigate the subject of the report and, if necessary, monitor the follow-up actions.

The report can be made to the City of Vaasa’s Environmental Department at the Food Control office electronically, by telephone, by visiting the premises, or by e-mail (

You can submit an electronic notification via the website.

Contact information to the food control

Switchboard for the city of Vaasa

E-mail to the environmental health services

Environmental office