Report a Complaint or Illness

Report a Food-Related Complaint

Report a Suspected Illness Complaint

The Allegheny County Health Department’s Food Safety Program wants to hear from the public about concerns during or after dining out at food facilities. The program receives about 2,000 complaints each year, and the Food Safety Program responds by conducting an investigation, typically at the food facility. After the investigation, the complainant is contacted with the results of their complaint.

Common food-related complaints received concern pest activity (mice, flies, cockroaches), food handling problems, improper food temperatures, and emergencies (fires, floods, or sewage back-ups). For the Food Safety Program to fully investigate your concerns, the problem must be related to food safety. We are unable to address concerns about food quality. Adequate details must also be provided so that we know what to look for. The online Food Complaint Form can be used to submit a food safety complaint.

Foodborne illness is also a concern of the Food Safety Program. Foodborne illness is under-reported but seriously investigated. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 6 Americans suffer a foodborne illness each year. Common symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Reporting your food-related illness to the Food Safety Program as soon as possible is critical for an effective investigation. Important information or the possibility to collect food samples or stool samples decreases as time goes on. If resident thinks they became ill after dining out, they should submit detailed information using the Suspected Illness Complaint Form.

Frequency Asked Questions

How do I submit a complaint?

Food complaints may be submitted directly using the Food Complaint Form. Report Suspected Illness complaints using the Suspected Illness Complaint Form. Complaints can also be made by calling the Food Safety Program at 412-578-8044.

If I submit a complaint, will my name and contact information be shared with the food facility?

No, names and contact information will remain confidential.

Can complaints be submitted anonymously?

Suspected illness complaints cannot be submitted anonymously.

Food complaints may be submitted anonymously, but this prevents the Food Safety Program from following up with you. The program may need to clarify Information you submitted or ask questions to get more information before we can properly investigate a complaint. Without this, the Food Safety Program may not be able to proceed with an investigation.

Do I need to create an account to submit a complaint?

An account is required to submit a suspected illness complaint.

No account is required to submit a food complaint, but we recommend that you create one so that you can check on the status of your complaint and receive messages from the Food Safety Program.

What is the status of my complaint?

The status of a complaint can be viewed by logging into your account. If a resident has not received response regarding the results of the investigation, then message the Food Safety Program directly  or call 412-578-8044. Please allow at least 14 days for a response.

How do I know the results of the investigation related to my complaint?

A representative of the Food Safety Program will be in contact using the information provided whether through the account, by email, or by phone.

How can I see the inspection report related to my complaint?

All inspection reports are available for public viewing through the ACHD Restaurant Finder. Simply enter the name and/or address of the restaurant to see inspections conducted recently.

Why were there no violations on the inspection report related to my complaint?

Inspectors are only able to report on what they see and measure at the time of their inspection. If the facility has corrected the issue before an inspector arrives or no one is committing the violation in their presence, they are unable to cite violations they do not see. However, they discuss the food safety requirements related to the complaint with the person in charge of the food facility and emphasize the importance of safe food handling and preparation to the health of their customers.