Environmental / Health Promotion & Food Safety
Health Promotion is how public health staff work to enable individuals and communities to increase, take control over and improve their health. It focuses on providing equal opportunities and resources to help people be as healthy as they can. Health Promotion includes enhancing public policy, creating supportive environments for healthy living and strengthening community action towards active and engaged communities.
Thousands of people suffer from foodborne illnesses each year. Most foodborne illness is caused by bacteria, while some is caused by viruses, parasites or poisons produced by some bacteria or chemical that gets into our food. Bacteria, or germs, can multiply to millions within a few short hours at the right temperature. Since you cannot see, smell or taste the bacteria or germ, it is not always easy to determine if your symptoms have been caused by food. You can start feeling sick anywhere from hours to weeks after the food has been eaten. Most often, people get sick within a couple of days after eating food that has been contaminated. Symptoms of foodborne illness can include:
- stomach cramps
Sometimes there can be long-term complications and even death. If you think you have a foodborne illness, visit your doctor and notify your local Community Health Office right away.
People most likely to become sick from contaminated food are:
- young children
- pregnant women
- people who are already unwell or have a decreased immune system
Four steps to handling food safely
Environmental Health involves protection, prevention, education and advocacy around acute, chronic and sometimes fatal diseases. Our health is influenced by the environment in many ways. Whether it be a built or natural environment, factors such as contaminants in water, air and food affect our health. Public Health Inspectors, in collaboration with the Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Nurses, respond to environmental health concerns by investigating complaints and inspecting premises to ensure compliance with regulations made under The Public Health Act.
Two accredited laboratories in Manitoba have created test packages for nitrate and naturally occurring trace elements sometimes found in Manitoba well water. Test costs will vary from year to year, and well owners should contact the laboratory directly for an estimate. You may contact your local Municipal office, for bottles to collect your water for testing.
ALS Laboratory Group
Manitoba Technology Centre Ltd.
1329 Niakwa Road East, Unit 12
Unit D, 675 Berry Street
Office of Drinking Water
For general inquiries related to drinking water, please contact the Office of Drinking Water:
1007 Century Street
Drinking Water Officer – Derek Clarke
75 7th Ave.
For after-hour Emergency Events please
call the Emergency RESPONSE LINE
Please refer to the Province of Manitoba Flood Information website for up-to-date flood-related information and material.