Interagency effort launches new statewide food poisoning hotline
Alaskans now have a new hotline to report foodborne illness concerns. Just call or text 907-764-YUCK (9825) from anywhere in Alaska to make a report about a venue outside of the Municipality of Anchorage. If you have a complaint for a venue located in Anchorage, call 343-4200 or submit an online form to the Municipality of Anchorage Food Safety and Sanitation Program. The new statewide hotline is manned by an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) environmental health officer, who gathers information such as illness symptoms, which foods were eaten, and where and when they were eaten. DEC will conduct an investigation for locations outside of Anchorage if needed; all information collected is confidential.
DEC also provides online reporting for food safety complaints and foodborne illness. All reports are forwarded to Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) epidemiologists in the Division of Public Health. If multiple complaints are received about a particular food item or restaurant, it could result in an epidemiological investigation for a possible foodborne illness outbreak. The new hotline is a collaborative effort by DHSS, DEC, and the Municipality of Anchorage to make statewide reporting easier for all Alaskans and to improve detection of foodborne illness issues across the state. The new hotline should also help DEC prioritize inspections by the Food Safety and Sanitation Program.