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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Food Safety

Food Poisoning

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Environmental Health has a legal duty to investigate cases of confirmed or suspected food poisoning.

Symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps
  • fever
  • aching limbs

Each case may be different and 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 from a viral infection and are spread by many different routes, and the illness itself usually only lasts a short period (24-48 hours) compared with a bacterial infection.

People who suffer the above symptoms often relate the cause to the last meal consumed, 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 between 12-24 hours (on occasions this can be a longer or a shorter time), and therefore our investigations take us to question what foods have been consumed 2 - 3 days earlier.

Typical Causes Of Food Poisoning
Campylobacter
Salmonella
Shigella
Crypto sporidia
E coli 0157
Giardia

Affected persons may contact their doctor who may ask for them to provide a stool sample for analysis. 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.

This information can be vital in controlling the spread of infection.

Further information can be obtained from the Food Standards Agency Food Standards Agency