Report Food Poisoning
Environmental Health has a legal duty to investigate cases of confirmed or suspected food poisoning.
Symptoms of food poisoning include:
- stomach cramps
- aching limbs
Each case may be different. All or some of these symptoms may be present.
However, it is not uncommon for people to suffer bouts of sickness and diarrhoea which are NOT food-related. These may be due to a viral infection, are spread by many different routes and the illness itself usually only lasts a short period of time (24-48 hours) compared with a bacterial infection which generally lasts longer.
People who suffer the above symptoms often relate the cause to the last meal they ate, especially if that meal was from a takeway or restaurant. In reality once you have ingested food poisioning bacteria they can take a long time to grow in your intestines before making you ill. The period of time is known as the INCUBATION PERIOD and is generally 12 to 24 hours (but can be a longer or a shorter time), and therefore our investigations need to consider what people have eaten up to three days before the illness.
Affected persons may contact their doctor who may ask them to provide a stool (faecal) sample for analysis to confirm if a food poisioning bacteria was the cause of the illness.
Advice can also be sought from the Health Protection Team in the Environmental Health Department who will ask questions about the illness, including dates and times of the onset of symptoms, your recent food history, your occupation and details of other members of the household.