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In most cases, food poisoning usually shows up hours or days after you’ve eaten something that made you sick. But different organisms work at different speeds.

Food Poisoning can ONLY be confirmed by a microbiologist after they have looked at a stool sample (a sample of your faeces  or poo) under a microscope.

If you suspect you have food poisoning you MUST visit your Dr and your Dr MUST ask you for a stool sample to be sent off for testing and then diagnosis.

Once the results have been confirmed, the Dr will notify the Health Protection Agency who will notify the Food safety team here at Ashfield District Council.

There are many types of food poisoning but the most common are Campylobactor and Salmonella.

Food poisoning symptoms also occur from virus illness, noro virus and gastroenteritis. These may be as distressing but are self limiting in that they usually pass after around 48- 72 hours.

If your symptoms persist you should consult your GP.

If you suspect you do have food poisoning from eating at a premises, you will need to answer questions and complete a food diary based on what you have eaten in the 10-14 days before you became ill.

 Campylobacter is one of the most commonly reported cause of food poisoning.

Who gets Campylobacter?

Anyone can get campylobacter, but those at greater risk are:

  • Young children under 5 years
  • Over 60’s
  • People who work with farm animals or in the meat industry,
  • Travellers to developing countries 


How do you get Campylobacter?

  •  Most cases of campylobacter are associated with:
  • The handling of raw and/or under cooked meat, especially poultry
  • The handling and drinking of unpasteurised milk and untreated water
  • The handling of  domestic pets, in particular reptiles and animals with diarrhoea. 
  • Person to person spread where personal hygiene is poor.

Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhoea (may be bloody)
  • vomiting
  • stomach pains and cramps,
  • Fever and generally feeling unwell.

These symptoms usually develop within 2 – 5 days after becoming infected but can take as long as 10 days. The illness typically can last up to one week.

Some people who are infected with campylobacter may not have symptoms at all.


How is Campylobacter treated?

Most people will recover without any specific treatment. In more severe cases, antibiotics can be used and can shorten the duration of symptoms if they are given early in the illness.

Your doctor will make the decision about whether antibiotics are necessary.


How can I avoid catching Campylobacter?

  • Hand washing thoroughly with soap and water:
  • Before preparing and eating food
  • After handling raw food
  • After going to the toilet or changing a baby’s nappy
  • After contact with pets and other animals
  • Do not wash raw chicken before you cook it to avoid cross contamination of surfaces
  • Keep cooked food away from raw food
  • Cook food thoroughly especially meat
  • Keep all kitchen surfaces and equipment including knives, chopping boards and dish cloths clean
  • Do not drink untreated water from lakes, rivers or streams or unpasteurised milk.


Do I need to stay off work or school?

Yes – while you are ill and have symptoms you are infectious.

You should refrain from work or school/college until you have been free of any symptoms for at You can return to work or school once you have been free from diarrhoea for 48 hour