Food poisoning and infectious diseases

We investigate notifications of infectious diseases (particularly food poisoning) from GPs, members of the public, businesses and other local authorities.

To report an infectious disease, email

Once a food poisoning notification is received, we will contact the person with the symptoms and ask them questions regarding:

  • what and where they've eaten prior to their illness
  • details of their symptoms
  • whether they've been on holiday abroad
  • whether their GP has taken a faecal sample
  • whether anybody else they ate with also experienced any symptoms. We may request that person to provide a faecal sample.

If a person with symptoms is a food handler or health care/nursery worker who has direct contact or contact through serving food with highly susceptible patients, they cannot return to work until they are symptom-free for 48 hours. They must also inform their employer of their symptoms.

Parents, carers or guardians of children aged under five years or disabled adults are advised to keep them away from school or other establishments until they have also been symptom free for 48 hours.

Food poisoning outbreaks

If several people eat at the same venue and have the same food poisoning-type symptoms, this may be due to a food poisoning outbreak. Our investigation into the outbreak will involve:

  • interviewing people who are ill
  • interviewing others who ate at the venue but didn't have symptoms 
  • taking faecal and food samples (if appropriate)
  • inspecting the implicated venue

During the autumn and winter months, we see an increase in the number of outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting. This is usually due to a ‘winter vomiting bug’ called Norovirus. More information about Norovirus can be found on the NHS website.

Staying safe

You can find out how to minimise the risk of contracting food poisoning by following the Food Standard Agency's advice and learning more about what to do if you are affected, from the NHS.