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Cardiff Council

www.cardiff.gov.uk

Infectious diseases

The most common causes of food poisoning in England and Wales are bacteria and viruses. The most common bacteria associated with food poisoning are: 



Two of the most serious food poisoning bacteria we deal with are:



Food poisoning symptoms include:


  • vomiting,
  • diarrhoea,
  • abdominal pain and
  • fever. 


The incubation period, the time between eating the food or drink, and the start of symptoms also varies between a few hours and several days. 


Report food poisoning


If you think you have food poisoning it is important to contact us so that we can investigate the cause of your illness. If we find that a food business is associated with the infection we can arrange for an environmental health officer to visit the premises and if appropriate take action to improve standards. This could help prevent other people suffering from food poisoning. 


Report food poisoning to us

 

Preventing food poisoning


Good food hygiene can prevent food poisoning. There are 4 main points to remember to ensure good food hygiene:


Cleanliness

Prevent the spread of harmful bacteria by observing good personal hygiene and keeping work surfaces, utensils and equipment clean. Wash your hands regularly, especially: 


  • after going to the toilet
  • after handling raw foods
  • after handling rubbish
  • before touching ready-to-eat food 


And remember: 


  • Don't handle or prepare food when you are ill with stomach problems, such as diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Don't touch food if you have sores or cuts, unless they are covered with a waterproof dressing.


Cooking

It's important to cook food thoroughly, especially meat. Make sure that food is cooked right through and piping hot in the middle. When reheating food, make sure it's piping hot all the way through and don't reheat it more than once.

Chilling

It's very important to keep certain foods at the right temperature to prevent bacteria growing or toxins forming. Always look at the label for storage instructions.

Cooked leftovers should be cooled quickly and then put in the fridge. Putting food in shallow containers and dividing it into smaller amounts will speed up the cooling process.

Cross-contamination

Cross-contamination is one of the major causes of food poising. It is the transfer of bacteria from foods (usually raw) to other foods either when one food touches (or drips onto) another, or by hands, knives or other utensils. 


To prevent cross-contamination: 


  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw food
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat food separate
  • Store raw meat in sealable containers at the bottom of the fridge, so it can't drip onto other foods
  • Use different chopping boards/work surfaces for raw food and ready-to-eat food
  • Clean knives and other utensils thoroughly after use with raw food.