We spend a great deal of time and effort ensuring that food premises are clean and hygienic to prevent them from causing food poisoning. We also investigate cases of food poisoning to try and find out what caused them and to stop them spreading.
Food poisoning is the most common, but we also investigate other illnesses such as dysentery, hepatitis and typhoid.
We trace the source, by interviewing both the people who are ill and their contacts, and try to ensure the diseases are not spread. This sometimes means we have to stop people going to work and children under five years old from attending school.
If you think you have suffered from food poisoning you should contact your GP as soon as possible.
Symptoms of food poisoning may include one or more of these:
Children under five years, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with reduced immunity are more likely to suffer severe symptoms.
If you are suffering from diarrhoea your GP may ask you for a stool specimen to try and find out what type of food poisoning you may have.
Your GP will then notify the local authority and you may get a telephone call from the Food, Health & Safety team. We will ask you details about your illness and about recent food that you may eaten.
If you have any food leftovers which may have made you ill, you should put them in a clean, sealed container and keep them in the fridge, separate from other food. The Food, Health & Safety team may arrange for this food to be tested for bugs which cause food poisoning.
If you think a food business is involved, we will ask for details and may carry out an inspection.
If you have suffered food poisoning you should not go to work whilst you are ill. You can normally return to work 48 hours after you have recovered.
If you are a food handler, nurse, work with young children or the elderly, you should inform your employer of your illness immediately. Ask us for advice if you are unsure.
Avoiding food poisoning
Buy from a reputable source
Follow the “use by” dates printed on the packaging of perishable foods
Make sure deep frozen food is hard and in a sealed pack. Mushy packs indicate inadequate freezing
Always place raw meat below cooked foods to prevent blood drip
Keep raw and cooked foods separate at all times
Always wash your hands regularly, particularly after visiting the toilet, after handling raw foods and after handling pets and animal
People suffering diarrhoea or any food poisoning infection should have their own towel and it is best not to prepare or handle food for others until you have recovered with no symptoms for 48 hours
Contact our Food, Health and Safety Team for further information or to report a food safety issue you can use our online form, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01522 873249.
Download the Health Protection Agency advice sheet for more information on Campylobacter, Clostridium, Cryptosporidiosis, Diarrhoea and vomiting in schools, Dysentery, E. Coli 0157, Giardia, Legionnaires, Salmonella.
Food, Health and Safety Team
Tel: 01522 873249