Public health inspects places that supply, sell, or distribute food to the public. If you think you have food poisoning, call us to tell us your symptoms. We also offer a Food Safety Training and Certification for those working in the food industry.
How you can get food poisoning
When bacteria, viruses, or parasites get into your food, you can get sick. Getting sick from eating contaminated food is called food-borne illness, or food poisoning. You can get food poisoning from foods made at home or at other places, like restaurants or grocery stores.
Food poisoning can be serious, especially for people who are very young, very old, or who have a weakened immune system from another illness.
Raw milk is milk that hasn't been pasteurized. It can contain bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and Listeria that cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, miscarriage, kidney failure, and even death. You can't tell from looking or smelling raw milk whether it contains dangerous levels of bacteria.
In Canada, it's against the law to sell, distribute, or even give away raw milk. The penalty for doing so is a fine of up to $5,000.
The only time milk doesn't need to be pasteurized is when it's used to make specific types of cheese. Unpasteurized milk cheeses must be made and aged in a specific way to be safe.
When it comes to your health, don’t risk drinking raw milk.
Health facts about raw milk
- If you get sick from drinking raw milk, you can pass your infection to others.
- Being fresh doesn’t mean it won’t make you sick. The bacteria that cause food to spoil aren’t the same ones that cause food poisoning.
- Refrigerating raw milk doesn’t stop bacterial growth. Pasteurization – heating the milk, usually to 72°C for 16 seconds - kills bacteria.
- Raw milk doesn’t contain more vitamins and minerals than pasteurized milk. In Canada, all pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D.
- The Risks Associated with Drinking Raw Milk
- Raw Milk - Questions and Answers (PDF)
- The Facts About Raw Milk (PDF)
Report food poisoning or complaints to Public Health
We inspect restaurants, special events food vendors, grocery stores, and other places that handle food before it gets to the public. Inspectors also investigate suspected food poisonings and food-related complaints.
If you think you might have food poisoning, call us at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4752. Signs of food poisoning include:
- Nausea (feeling queasy)
- Vomiting (throwing up)
- Abdominal cramps