Food Poisoning


Thousands of people get food poisoning each year. If you think you may have gotten sick from food eaten at a restaurant or from another food service provider please contact the Health Unit to report it.

Call 705-474-1400 ext. 5229 to report food poisoning.

What is it food poisoning?

  • Food poisoning is an illness that occurs when food or water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, fungi, pathogens or toxins is consumed.
  • One in eight Canadians (approximately 4 million people) get sick from foodborne illness each year. 
  • The top four organisms causing food-borne illness in Canada are norovirus, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter spp and salmonella (non-typhoidal

How is it spread?

  • By eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

What are the symptoms?

  • Symptoms depend on what is causing the illness and may include: nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, feeling unwell, dizziness, and/or headache.
  • You can start feeling sick anywhere from hours to weeks after eating contaminated food.

How is it treated?

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Oral rehydration fluids are helpful in preventing dehydration and can be purchased at drug stores.
  • Treatment will be determined by your health care provider.

How is it prevented?

  • Wash hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, handling pet feces and before and after handling food.
  • Prevent cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for meat/poultry and other foods.
  • Wash your hands, cutting boards and utensils with warm, soapy water after contact with raw items.
  • Ensure meat is well cooked; use a thermometer (meat should not be pink and juices should run clear).
  • Separate raw poultry, meat and seafood from fruits, vegetables, and ready-to-eat foods when shopping, storing, preparing or serving food.
  • Store foods either at or below 4°C or at or above 60°C.
  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.  Refer to for more information on food safety and safe internal cooking temperatures.
  • Wash all fresh fruit and veggies before eating.
  • Drink only water that is treated, regularly tested or boiled.
  • Consume only pasteurized milk and milk products.
  • Use foods from inspected/approved sources.

Should I go to childcare, school or work if I have food poisoning?

  • Avoid preparing or serving food to others.
  • People working in high risk settings such as healthcare providers, food handlers, and those who work or attend childcare should be excluded until symptom free for 24 hours, or symptom free for 48 hours after discontinuing use of anti-diarrheal medications.

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)