Food Poisoning

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is an illness caused by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated by bacteria, such as salmonella, viruses, such as the norovirus, parasites, such as the giardia parasite, or (less commonly) toxins and chemicals, such as lead or mercury.

The most common symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

The symptoms of food poisoning will normally pass within a week, without the need for a doctor.  However, bacteria such as listeria and salmonella can cause severe symptoms of food poisoning and sometimes even death. People with a weakened immune system are particularly vulnerable. The FSA estimates that there are 500 deaths from food poisoning in the UK every year.

The best way to prevent food poisoning is to practise good food hygiene. For example, always cook food at the right temperature and wash your hands with soap and warm water after going to the toilet and before and after handling food.