The number of actual foodborne illness cases that result from eating in local restaurants is much lower than the number of complaints that come in, according to a sanitarian with the Metropolitan Health District of the City of San Antonio. Steve Barscewski, sanitarian services manager for Metro Health, told KSAT-TV that actual illness cases make up about 1 percent of such complaints at most and that, in 2014, there was only one foodborne illness outbreak in the area. “Sort of the number one [complaint] is … I went to a particular restaurant, I ate a hamburger or I had breakfast tacos and I got sick an hour later,” Barscewski said. However, he indicated that sort of scenario is unrealistic. “It’s not likely to happen because the bacteria responsible, a lot of them, their incubation period is eight hours or more,” Barscewski said. For some foodborne illnesses, the incubation period can range from four hours to 45 days before someone shows signs of sickness, he noted. Typically, a string of food safety mistakes at a restaurant will occur to cause foodborne illness, Barscewski said. One example he cited was a shipment of bad shrimp that was properly chilled and prepared by a San Antonio restaurant in 2014. After it was served in ceviche and 15 people were sickened, health officials traced the problem back to the shrimp and the distributor. Another local outbreak occurred after a sewer leak contaminated the shallow well of a restaurant and the tainted water was used to make ice and wash dishes, sickening about 200 people, he said. Some things Metro Health advises diners to watch out for in a restaurant to help reduce the risk of contracting a foodborne illness include: roaches, rodents, off-temperature food, dirty kitchens and dirty restrooms.