Report a Restaurant Complaint

Do you have a complaint about a Tennessee restaurant that does NOT include/involve illness (such as dirty conditions)?

          Call (800)-293-8228 or email to report the situation.

Do you believe something you ate at a Tennessee restaurant made you sick?

Fill out this foodborne illness survey, or

Call (800)-293-8228

About the Tennessee Foodborne Illness Survey:

Tennessee’s public-facing complaint system is an online survey that allows you to file a foodborne illness report when events surrounding your illness are fresh on your mind. When you think something you ate made you sick (and possibly others), fill out the questions completely to capture as much information as possible to send to your local health department. The health department will examine your report, investigate if needed, and capture real-time information about what is going on in your community.

What information do I need to provide?

Detailed information is essential to helping us do a thorough investigation, such as:

·         Name and address of the restaurant,

·         Dates meals were eaten,

·         Names and contact information of others in your dining party, and

·         Information about your symptoms

Laboratory testing:

When a foodborne illness outbreak is first suspected, the germ that caused people to become sick is likely unknown. The identification of that germ by laboratory testing is a critical piece of the puzzle that will help focus the investigation. If you are ill with symptoms that you believe may be associated with an outbreak, it is recommended you see your doctor so that samples (like a stool specimen) can be collected for laboratory testing; or your health department may request to collect specimens from you. For more information about germs that cause illness see the following link:

A note about “last meal bias”

People often associate their illness with the last food or meal that they consumed. While there are some germs (particularly toxins) that cause illness to develop quickly after consuming contaminated food items (as short as 30 minutes), there are many foodborne illnesses that can take up to 72 hours (3 days) or longer to develop. When thinking about what might have caused you to become ill, it is helpful to review the food items that you have eaten over the last several days.

What happens when I file a Foodborne Illness Report?

Once you hit submit, the report will be sent to your local health department. Department staff will follow-up with you if there are any questions. After they gather all the information necessary, the Environmental Health Specialist will decide the course of action. If warranted, they will visit the food establishment you suspect made you sick to check for safe food handling practices. Additionally, they will look for trends in other foodborne illness reports to see if there are commonalities that might suggest an outbreak has occurred. The goal is to get the information quickly from you, the consumer, and act quickly to prevent others from becoming sick.