Information on what food poisoning is, what to do if you still have the food and where to find out more information about investigations.
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.
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 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)
If you believe a particular food premises or food which you have purchased has caused your illness, you should visit your GP as soon as possible to have the diagnosis confirmed, this will involve providing a faecal sample which will help identify the cause of illness.
The food service team will be notified by Public Health England and investigate all cases of infectious diseases confirmed by laboratory analysis that may be linked to food or water consumption.
If you work as a food handler and are suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea, you should tell your employer and must not carry out any food handling duties, until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped. Those who work in a care setting or with vulnerable people are advised to take similar precautions.
If you are unable to attend your GP and provide a sample, but still suspect that a particular food premises or food which you have purchased has caused your illness, you can still 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.
Since most gastroenteritis is viral and/or potentially due to non-foodborne transmission, we will initially treat such reports as hygiene of premises or food complaints.
Depending on the circumstances and details given, this may involve contacting you for further information, visiting the food premises, taking legal action or simply retaining the information provided for the purpose of intelligence.
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.
The food services team has produced an advice note which includes more information about food poisoning investigations:
How we use ID investigation information (pdf 283kb opens in new window)