Infectious diseases

Advice about Swine Flu

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

Once a food poisoning notification has been 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 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 sample

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 hours.

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 symptoms
  • 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.

Contact us:

Environmental Health Commercial Team – Food
Mulberry Place
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
E14 1BY

Tel: 020 7364 5008
Fax: 020 7364 6901

Opening hours are: 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

For more information, visit the Food Standard Agency’s website