Food poisoning

There are many different causes of food poisoning but they all stem from eating or drinking food contaminated by bacteria, or the toxins the bacteria produce.

If you suspect you are suffering food poisoning it is recommended that you contact your doctor as soon as possible, who might ask you to submit a sample for examination.

Consult your doctor immediately if the person affected is a baby, is elderly or has an existing illness or condition or if symptoms are prolonged or severe.

You can find out more about food poisoning and its causes on the NHS website.

We investigate cases of food poisoning and certain other food borne illnesses which are notified to us by GPs, the public and other local authorities. The purpose of the investigation is to try to prevent the spread of illness within the community and to try and find possible causes. You can also contact us if you suspect you may have food poisoning. However if you haven’t seen your doctor we would advise you to do so.

When we receive a confirmed diagnosis of food poisoning we may contact you to ask some questions to try and establish the cause or source of the illness:

If you, or anyone else in your household, handles food for others as part of their job or works with highly susceptible people eg pre-school children or the elderly please contact this office immediately.

Please note: Food handlers and people working with highly susceptible people must not return to work until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours. Children who attend pre-school or nursery should also be kept off for this period. Even if you are not a food handler or someone working with highly susceptible people we would also strongly recommend that you do not return to work for this period.

Parents and guardians of children under 5 years of age or of adults unable to keep good standards of personal hygiene are strongly advised to keep them away from school or other establishments until they have also been symptom free for 48 hours.