Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea. Sometimes, you might also develop a fever. Some other illnesses, some medicines and too much alcohol can cause similar symptoms to food poisoning.
If you have food poisoning, there are three main things you should do:
- rehydrate yourself - drink plenty of fluids and perhaps use rehydration powders (available from pharmacies)
- get medical help - if you're worried about your health or the health of someone else, contact NHS Direct (0845 4647) or your GP for advice (especially in the case of pregnant women, elderly people, children and people who are already ill)
- report it - if you think that your illness was caused by food prepared outside the home, report the incident to your local environmental health service
Why report it?
If you think your illness has been caused by food from a restaurant or other food outlet, the local environmental health department needs to know so it can investigate that business. If we find a problem with the business's food hygiene practices, and get the business to improve them, this could help stop other people getting ill.
We deal with around 320 individual food poisoning cases and outbreaks of food poisoning every year. Use these links for more information on food poisoning and specific infections.
- What is salmonella?
- Hepatitis A
- Intestinal infections
- E.coli O157
- Viral gastro-enteritis
- Giardia Lamblia