Symptoms of food poisoning
Food poisoning is a general term for illnesses picked up from eating contaminated food or drinking water.
Symptoms of food poisoning may involve:
- abdominal cramps
How long it takes for you to feel ill varies with each type of organism in the food. It can take up to 10 to 15 days so it is important to remember that your last meal may not be the cause.
Just because you have an upset stomach, it doesn't mean that you have food poisoning. The most common cause of upset stomachs in the UK is from the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus. You can find more information on Norovirus on NHS Direct.
What to do if you have food poisoning
If you are suffering from the symptoms of food poisoning, you should:
- visit your doctor and submit a faecal specimen for analysis
- stay home and follow good standards of personal hygiene
- drink fluids to prevent dehydration
- eat when you feel up to it, but try small, light meals
If you suspect you have had food poisoning you can tell us and we will investigate.
To report a possible food poisoning you will need:
- your name, address and contact details
- the name and address of the business you bought the food from
- the date & time that you consumed the food
- details of the food consumed
- details of your symptoms including onset time
- details of anyone else (including symptoms and onset times) who ate with you who has also been unwell
We do not investigate anonymous complaints, so need your details to pursue any reported incidents.
You must have seen your doctor and given them a faecal specimen before we carry out a formal investigation.
The aim of our investigation is to:
- identify the source of the illness
- give advice
- exclude people from work (if appropriate)