The MLN recently received a complaint from a reader.
He said that he and his wife had eaten in a local restaurant about three weeks ago. He noted they enjoyed the salad, but as he was eating his dinner, he became suddenly sick to his stomach.
The manager came over and assured them the food was freshly prepared. But before the man could answer, he became nauseated and had to rush to the men's room, where he lost what portions of the meal he had eaten.
He said he checked into Mesa View Regional Hospital that night. He was kept overnight for observation in case he had a heart condition or other serious problem.
But he said the only problem was food poisoning. The man said his doctor told him four other people checked in with identical symptoms who also had eaten at the same establishment.
There was really nothing the MLN could do for him. We couldn't substantiate his story with the hospital.
A nurse in the ER told us doctors are only required to notify the Southern Nevada Health Department if they find evidence of a viral outbreak or serious illness. Not for possible food poisoning.
So what is a citizen to do?
Call the Southern Nevada Health Department. Complaints are to be directed to the SNHD's Epidemiology Department at (702) 759-1300 Option 3. Or you can file a complaint on-line at http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/forms/food-complaints.php.
But complaints must be filed within 30 days, and our reader may already have passed that deadline.
SNHD will investigate a restaurant if it receives several complaints.
If you get ill after eating at a restaurant or notice something unsanitary, by all means complain to the SNHD. Although the reader wanted the name of the restaurant published in the newspaper that would only be possible if there was some kind of official confirmation about the problem.
The newspaper frequently receives complaints from people who are unhappy with a business or restaurant. But unfounded accusations have no place in a news story or even on the opinion page.
It's far too easy for a customer and a business, be it a retail store, restaurant or service, to have a disagreement. And sometimes, customers can be vindictive, even if they were the party at fault.
There's no indication this food poisoning complaint was bogus. But to rise to the level of news there must be something substantive and not just one person's complaint.
The best way to do that is to file a complaint with the SNHD if you have a problem with a restaurant or landlord that concerns public health. Contact the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada is you've been cheated by a business at (702) 320-4500. Or if you've been defrauded, scammed, stolen from, brutalized or are aware of criminal activity, call the Mesquite Police Department at (702) 346-5262.
And don't wait three weeks to do it.