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DCoDPH Warns Against Illegal Social Media Food Purchases

A rise in social media market sales has increased chances of consuming unsafe foods

Post Date:09/05/2018

DURHAM, N.C. –  In recognition of National Food Safety Education Month, the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH) would like to remind the public that purchases of food on social media marketplaces are illegal and potentially harmful.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans get sick from eating contaminated food each year.  The CDC tracks foodborne illnesses and collaborates with state and local health departments and other federal agencies to investigate foodborne outbreaks.

“We have received complaints from people who have gotten sick from illegal plates of food purchased on social media marketplaces,” said Chris Salter, director, environmental health, DCoDPH.  “Every year Durham County residents get sick and are hospitalized from eating contaminated food.  While everyone is at risk of food poisoning, you are at higher risk by purchasing meals from illegally operating businesses.  We do not want to discourage anyone with a dream of owning a restaurant or food truck, but anyone who sells food must be permitted to ensure the public’s safety.”

Food poisoning symptoms may range from mild to severe and may differ depending on the germ swallowed.  After a contaminated food or drink is consumed, it may take hours or days before symptoms are developed.  The most common symptoms of food poisoning are:

  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

For more information about food service establishment permit applications, please visit http://dcopublichealth.org/services/environmental-health/forms-applications or call 919.560.7800.

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