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Certain infectious diseases are notifiable to the Health Authority and these are investigated by the consultant in communicable disease control (CCDC) or by officers of the Local Authority. The Food Safety Team investigate food poisoning and certain other food borne illnesses which are notifiable.
The purpose of this investigation is to try to prevent the spread of illness within the community and to try and establish possible causes. Advice is also given to the patient on how to prevent the spread of disease within the home.
Many different sorts of bacteria (germs) can cause food borne illness. When food is kept warm, these bacteria can grow rapidly and reach dangerous levels within hours. The numbers of cases of food borne illness have increased dramatically over the past few years, particularly during the Summer months. Good food hygiene standards in industry and the home are vital to prevent food borne illness.
The incubation period (time taken from eating the food to feeling unwell) varies with each type of organism and in some cases can be up to 10-15 days after consumption of the food. It is important to realise therefore, that the last meal you ate may not be the cause of your symptoms.
The main causes of food poisoning and food borne illness are:
Who is at Risk?
We all are, but babies, young children and the elderly can very quickly become very ill when infected. Pregnant women, people who already have a pre-existing illness, and anyone whose immune system is weakened can also be seriously affected by food borne illness.
What are the Main Symptoms of Food-Borne Illness / Food Poisoning?
Follow the Department's Top Ten Tips to try and reduce food borne illness:
For further information please contact the Food Safety Team on 01789 260832 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax on 01789 260808, alternatively, follow the link to the foodlink website for additional advice.
food link food poisoning
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