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Emergency Preparedness

Food & Water Illness

More than 250 known bacteria, viruses and parasites as well as some natural and manufactured chemicals can spread potentially life-threatening illness through contaminated food or beverages.

Steps you can take

  • Wash hands carefully after using the bathroom, changing infant diapers or cleaning up animal feces and before preparing food.
  • Wash hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces with hot soapy water especially after they touch raw meat, poultry or eggs.
  • Cook poultry, eggs, raw ground beef and other meat products to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
  • Eat cooked food promptly and refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, especially those that will be eaten raw.
  • Drink only pasteurized milk and juices.
  • Eat dairy products (including cheese and ice cream) made only from pasteurized milk.
  • Drink bottled water or make sure your water supply is safe. If you drink from a private water well, have it tested regularly.
  • Know the symptoms of foodborne illness. Symptoms include diarrhea that lasts more than three days accompanied by high fever (temperature higher than 101.5 F, measured orally), blood in stools, prolonged vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down, signs of dehydration, including a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up.
  • Call your health care provider if you think you have a foodborne illness.

Report a suspected foodborne illness
Call 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455) or email your name and daytime phone number to

Dakota County’s role in preventing foodborne illness
Dakota County provides information and resources to help you and your family prevent foodborne illness. The County also assists the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture in identifying and investigating foodborne illnesses during a disaster or emergency.

The County partners with local communities to provide the Dakota Communications Center with information which it distributes through the Emergency Alert Program notification system and provides 911 assistance.

Last updated: 11/12/2012 10:25 AM