Food poisoning complaint

Food poisoning is a notifiable infectious disease. If you suspect you are suffering from food poisoning, please contact us on 0345 8 506 506.
Further information on food can be found on the Public Health England (PHE) website.

What you need to know

Diarrhoea and sickness

Stay off school or work until you have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days.

How you get food poisoning

Food poisoning is caused by eating something that has been contaminated with germs.

This can happen if food:

  • is not cooked or reheated thoroughly
  • is not stored correctly – for example, it's not been frozen or chilled
  • is left out for too long
  • is handled by someone who's ill or has not washed their hands
  • is eaten after its "use by" date

Any type of food can cause food poisoning.

Not every case of sickness and diarrhoea is caused by food poisoning bacteria, some are caused by viruses. 

Some food poisoning bacteria, when eaten can take several days to cause illness so it may not be the last thing you ate. You may be asked to provide a history of foods and drink eaten over a 1-2 week period and in some cases longer.

If you have attended a celebration such as a wedding or birthday party and are aware of others who are also ill after attending, please advise them to contact the food safety team also. This way we can ensure that an outbreak can be quickly identified. You will be asked about what you ate at the event.

Report a food poisoning complaint

If you wish to report a food poisoning complaint, please fill in our online form, after which we will receive an application number. If you provide us with an email address an automated acknowledgment of your request will be sent to you. You may be asked to submit a stool sample via your GP if you are still experiencing symptoms as this is the only way that food poisoning can be checked.

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