Food poisoning can occur when food or drink:
- Isn’t prepared safely, including when meat is undercooked or lack of hand washing
- Is touched by someone who has gastroenteritis (gastro)
- Comes into contact with pets, flies or other pests
- Comes in contact with raw meat, or ready to eat foods come in contact with each other
- Is stored at unsafe temperatures that allows bacteria to grow
- Is contaminated with animal manure.
Food poisoning results from the consumption of food that has been contaminated by micro-organisms, toxins or chemicals. In most cases, this is caused by poor food-handling and hygiene practices.
Some of the most common symptoms of food poisoning include:
In some cases, these symptoms may not appear for several hours, days or weeks.
If you suspect that food is substandard, it is best to not consume it and risk becoming sick.
If you experience symptoms of food poisoning, it is important to seek medical attention.
To enable the City’s Environmental Health Officers to investigate a food poisoning incident, you will need to ensure:
- A faecal sample is submitted to a doctor (to identify the cause of the food poisoning)
- Any remaining suspect food has been immediately covered and refrigerated (at 5°C or below) or frozen, until collected by Environmental Health staff for analysis
- Any food packages, receipts or other evidence that identifies the product and where it was purchased from have been retained.
The following information is recorded:
- When was the suspect food purchased?
- How was the food stored or handled prior to consumption?
- When was it consumed?
- What were the symptoms and when did they first appear?
- Who else consumed the food and did they experience the same symptoms?