Infectious diseases and food contamination
We investigate warnings of infectious diseases (particularly
food poisoning) from GPs, the public, businesses and other local
The council is responsible for the inspection of food
retailers and providers in the borough, to ensure that the food
hygiene in premises and quality of food meet legal requirements,
and the food is correctly labelled and compositional standards are
All premises are inspected on a priority basis according to
risk. New premises should register with the team so that an
initial visit can be carried out and advice given.
The service is responsible for checking the food hygiene and
standard of food premises. It also deals with any health and safety
issues in food premises. The food safety service is
responsible for restaurants, and all food premises that provide
food, whether money is exchanged or not.
Once a food poisoning notification has been received, we will
contact the person with the symptoms and ask them questions
- What and where they've eaten prior to their illness
- Details of their symptoms
- Whether they've been on holiday abroad
- Whether or not their GP has taken a faecal sample and
- Whether anybody else they ate with also experienced any
symptoms. We may request that person to provide a faecal
If a person with symptoms is a food handler or health
care/nursery worker who has direct contact serving food, with
highly susceptible patients or persons in whom an intestinal
infection would have serious consequences, they cannot return to
work until they are symptom-free for 48 hours. They must also
inform their employer of their symptoms.
Parents or guardians of children aged under five years or
children or adults unable to implement good standards of personal
hygiene, are advised to keep them away from school or other
establishments until they have also been symptom-free for 48
Visit for more
advice about Swine Flu.
Food poisoning outbreaks
If a number of people ate 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
- taking faecal and food samples (if appropriate) and
- inspecting the implicated venue
If there is enough evidence implicating a food premises within
the area as a possible source of the outbreak, we may decide to
carry out a food hygiene inspection.
If you believe that you are suffering from food poisoning (i.e.
sickness and diarrhoea) caught from a food premises, please contact
us using the details below.
For further information contact:
Consumer and Business Regulations Service - Food Safety
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Open: 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday
Tel: 020 7364 5008
Fax: 020 7364 6901
Opening hours are: 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to
For more information, visit the Food Standard
Agency’s website http://www.food.gov.uk/.