Twitter may be very helpful for reporting on food poisoning


2017-02-27 18:46

Researchers say that using Twitter may help to increase reporting of food-poisoning.

Food poisoning is a common problem that can be life threatening. Being made aware of food poisoning outbreaks is an essential component of helping to combat this problem.

There is the potential for an increase in reporting on food poisoning with the use of Twitter

Washington University in St. Louis reports that there is the potential for an increase in reporting on food poisoning with the use of Twitter. This is an important consideration particularly in view of the fact that even though about 25% of citizens in the United States get food poisoning every year, only a small number of people report on it.

Twitter communications can assist in sharing of the suggested steps to follow in the event of being hit with food poisoning

It is believed that foodborne illness reporting could be improved with communications on Twitter between the public and appropriate government authorities. This communication could also assist in sharing of the suggested steps to follow in the event of being hit with food poisoning. Tweets which are relevant to food poisoning can be replied to with a link for a form to report the illness to the health department. Submission of such reports facilitates proper handling of outbreaks of food poisoning.

Jenine Harris, associate professor and lead author of the study, says that social media offers a way to increase trust and interaction between government and the public with the implementation of strategies for food safety which hold great promise. Twitter offers a good way to identify and respond to food poisoning.

This concept can be carried over into improving the response to other public health issues

With about 23 percent of the population in the United States using Twitter such so called dashboard technology has really good potential for the improvement of reporting on foodborne illness. This concept can be carried over into improving the response to other public health issues such as suicidality and infection. Other social media platforms could also be useful for such purposes.

This study has been published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Efforts to prevent foodborne illnesses are complicated by the small number of people hit with food poisoning who seek out medical care and report their illness to public health authorities. Twitter and other social media platforms offer a promising avenue to more effectively confront the problem of food poisoning and other public health concerns.