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Food poisoning and infectious diseases

What service do the food services team supply in relation to infectious diseases and food poisoning?

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.

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.

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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. For further advice advice on the treatment of food poisoning, you should visit your GP. The websites below have further advice and information about food poisoning:

NHS - food poisoning (external website)

Food Standards Agency - food poisoning (external website)

Health Protection Agency - Food Poisoning and Infectious Diseases (external website)

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How do I report food poisoning?

If you believe a particular food premises or food which you have purchased has caused your illness, you should report suspected food poisoning online (opens in new window) with details of your symptoms including where, when and what you have eaten and if other people have similar symptoms. Alternatively you can call us on (01482) 396301.

Please note: you should visit your GP as soon as possible to be diagnosed, this will involve providing a faecal sample which will help identify the cause of illness.

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

Keep the food in the fridge and contact us on (01482) 396301 for more information. An officer from the team will contact you and may wish to sample the food for microbiological examination to try and identify whether the food was the cause of illness.

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Where can I find out more information about food poisoning investigations?

The food services team has produced an advice note which includes more information about food poisoning investigations:

ID advice note (pdf 183kb opens up new window)

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