Did you get sick from eating food? Foodborne illness is caused by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with germs. It is spread through meat, poultry, shellfish, fish, and other foods that are undercooked or not handled properly.

To report a foodborne illness

If you live in Cambridge and you suspect a foodborne illness, you should report it to the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) at (617) 665-3826. Leave a voicemail and one of our public health nurses will return your call during business hours from Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. A public health nurse will ask you details of what you have eaten in the past few days. You may also fill out this Foodborne Illness Complaint form. All information is kept confidential.

If you don’t live in Cambridge and you believe a Cambridge restaurant is the cause of your illness, please contact Cambridge Inspectional Services (ISD). If a restaurant is the suspected cause of illness, ISD will perform a complete inspection to determine if the restaurant is adhering to the sanitary code.

If calling after business hours or on holidays, please call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at (617) 983-6800.

For more information on food safety and the prevention of foodborne illness, you may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Updated: July 21, 2022