One year after its launch, food safety application Foodborne Chicago is leveraging technology to help hundreds of Chicagoans report food poisoning incidents to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and make Chicago a safer place to eat. With the help of Twitter, Foodborne Chicago has resulted in 150 restaurant and food service inspections that otherwise may have been reported too late, or not at all.

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Foodborne Chicago flags public tweets mentioning cases of food poisoning in Chicago, reviews and replies to those individuals which have legitimate cases of food poisoning, and then directs them to a simple complaint submission form. In its first year, 233 total reports were submitted through Foodborne Chicago. Since the CDC estimates approximately 45% of foodborne illnesses go unreported, these submissions and subsequent restaurant inspections can go a long way towards preventing foodborne illnesses in the city.

Foodborne Chicago was created by Smart Chicago and civic tech developers in partnership with CDPH, and is part of the City’s commitment to using technology to make service requests simple and stress-free. Chicagoans can easily check the status of their food poisoning complaints – and other service requests – at the 311 Service Tracker.

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