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Food poisoning and infectious diseases

What food poisoning is, how to report suspected food poisoning, what to do if you still have the food and where to find out more about investigations.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating food which hasn't been cooked, handled or stored properly. Food poisoning symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. 

Further advice on the treatment of food poisoning:

The websites below have further advice and information about food poisoning:

Please note: if you suspect you have food poisoning you should visit your GP for advice and treatment.

What should I do if I think I have food poisoning?

If you believe you are suffering from food poisoning you should visit your GP as soon as possible to have the diagnosis confirmed. You’ll need to provide a faecal (stool) sample which will be sent to Public Health England for analysis to help identify the cause of illness. 

Public Health England informs us of all cases of infectious diseases they confirm by laboratory analysis that may be linked to food or water consumption, and we investigate these. In which case we will either telephone or visit you to try and find out where the infection has come from. The infection may have come from contaminated food, however, many infectious diseases can be transmitted through non-food routes such as environmental sources such as people, animals, airborne particles and contaminated surfaces.

If you are suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea and work:

  • as a food handler
  • in a care setting, or 
  • with vulnerable people

you must:

  • tell your employer 
  • not carry out any food handling duties until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped.

Was the food purchased in the East Riding?

If you believe a particular food premises or food you have bought in the East Riding has caused your illness, you can report it to us online:

Report suspected food poisoning

What do I do if I still have the food that I think has made me ill?

Keep the food in the fridge and report a case of suspected food poisoning to us. We will contact you and may wish to send the food for microbiological examination to try and identify whether the food caused the illness.

How does the council investigate suspected cases of food poisoning or infectious diseases?

The council's food services team investigates all infectious diseases that may be linked to food or water consumption. These diseases are primarily gastro-intestinal diseases of short duration but also include diseases such as Hepatitis A.

If you have been diagnosed as suffering from a communicable disease (usually following a request from your doctor to provide a faecal specimen or blood test) we will either telephone or visit you to try and find out where the infection has come from. The infection may have come from contaminated food, however, many infectious diseases can be transmitted through non-food routes such as environmental sources. Read more about reporting suspected food poisoning to us.

The purpose of our visit/telephone call is to try to identify potential sources of infection so that action can be taken to prevent similar cases occurring, we can also soon identify if a common event or food links more than one case together. 

Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2018