Food poisoning is an unpleasant illness caused by the consumption of food or drink, including water, which has been contaminated by bacteria, viruses or chemicals including naturally occurring toxins in plants such as green potatoes.

The predominant cause of food poisoning, however, are bacteria.

The symptoms of food poisoning can include:

  • stomach cramps
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • raised temperature
  • nausea.

Following consumption of contaminated food or drink the onset of symptoms may vary from a few hours to a number of days dependent on which type of bacteria is involved.

It is important to realise that the cause of your symptoms may not always be the last meal you ate. 

If you think you have food poisoning you should see your GP who may arrange to submit a stool specimen in order that a laboratory check can be made to isolate and identify the cause of your illness.

If you suspect that food from a particular commercial source such as a restaurant or takeaway has caused your illness, then you should contact the council as soon as possible.