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To view the food poisoning information sheets click below
What is Campylobacter ?
Campylobacters are small bacteria which cause one of the most common types of food poisoning in Britain. After the bacteria have been swallowed, they multiply in the gut and symptoms develop. Infection can result from drinking untreated water and milk, or from direct contact with infected animals such as puppies with diarrhoea. Bird-pecked milk has also been found to cause illness. Raw meat may be contaminated, and under-cooked poultry meat is commonly associated with the infection, or cooked food which has been contaminated with raw meat.
What are the Symptoms?Victims can suffer from stomach pain, diarrhoea, sometimes vomiting and a fever.
What is the Incubation Period ?
This can be from 1-10 days but is usually 3-5 days.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of Campylobacter ?
Wash your hands before preparing food and after handling raw meat.
Regularly clean and disinfect kitchen surfaces, equipment and utensils.
Ensure that meat is thoroughly defrosted before being fully cooked - follow the manufacturer's instructions where necessary.
Keep raw meat separate from all other foods, especially from cooked foods, desserts and salads, which do not need further cooking.
Avoid drinking bird-pecked milk.
And if I Get Campylobacter ?
If the symptoms are severe and/or prolonged, seek medical advice. It is particularly important that young children and the elderly, and those already under medical supervision are treated.
If a member of the household is suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, the infection could be passed on to others.
Clean and disinfect the toilet, toilet flush, taps and door handle regularly with a disinfectant.
Make sure you wash your hands after contact with an infected person.
If you work as a food handler, make sure that you tell your supervisor/boss and the Environmental Health Officer.
If you visit the doctor, remember to say that you are a food handler (if this applies to you).
What is E-Coli 0157 ?
E.coli 0157 are bacteria which can cause illness ranging from mild diarrhoea to severe inflammation of the large intestine.
What are the Symptoms ?
Diarrhoea is the most common symptom; this can be mild and settle within two weeks but it can sometimes be more severe with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea. Some people can be infected but may not show any symptoms. A very small number of cases may develop what is called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), which is a form of acute kidney failure. HUS is a more likely complication in children and the elderly and requires admission to hospital for treatment.
Where Does the Infection Come From ?
The bacteria are found in the gastrointestinal tract of some cattle and other domesticated animals. Transmission to humans usually occurs through eating contaminated foodstuffs particularly beef products. Outbreaks have been associated with undercooked beef burgers and mince, lamb, pork, chicken and turkey, and unpasturised milk, contaminated water and vegetables. Infection can also follow contact with infected animals, particularly on farms and animal sanctuaries.
The length of time from ingestion of the organism until the start of the symptoms is usually between 1 and 6 days but may be as long as 14 days.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of This Infection ?
Ensure that meat is defrosted thoroughly before being properly cooked - follow the manufacturer's cooking instructions. This particularly applies to minced beef.
Keep cooked meat separate from raw meat at all times.
Thoroughly rinse salads, fruit and vegetables in clean, running water.
Keep raw meat separate from all other foods, especially desserts, cooked meats and salads, which do not need cooking.
What Should I Do if I Get This Infection ?
What is Hepatitis A ?
Hepatitis A is a viral Disease which affects the liver. It occurs most often in school children and young adults.
The illness usually begins with a sudden onset of fever (temperature), feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea and stomach pain. This is followed within a few days with jaundice: a yellow discolouration of the whites of the eyes and the skin. Children may have mild infections without jaundice.
Is it Infectious ?
Yes, the infection is most commonly spread from person to person by infected faeces. The faeces are infectious for two weeks before the person becomes ill and for about a week after the jaundice appears. The greatest risk of spread occurs where there is a possibility of contact with untreated sewage. People travelling abroad to developing countries where sanitation is poor are therefore at risk of becoming infected. Infection can occur also after consuming raw shellfish, for example uncooked oysters.
Symptoms may appear within 2 weeks after contact with an infected person.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of Hepatitis A ?
Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food or eating.
Avoid swimming where water may be contaminated with untreated sewage.
Avoid eating uncooked shellfish, such as oysters and mussels.
If you are travelling to a developing country, protection can be given from the virus by a single injection at least 10 days before travelling.
Clean and disinfect the toilet, flush taps and door handle regularly with a disinfectant.
What is Salmonella ?
Salmonella is an acute infection which causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, fever and vomiting. It is caused by eating foods contaminated with the salmonella organism.
Where Does it Come From ?
Infection can occur after consuming food contaminated by the faeces of an infected person or animal. Foods most commonly associated with this illness are inadequately cooked poultry or poultry products, raw sausages, lightly cooked foods containing eggs or egg products, unpasturised milk.
Infection after consuming contaminated foodstuffs can occur within 6 to 72 hours but is usually about 12 to 36 hours.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of Salmonella ?
Ensure that meat and meat products are thoroughly cooked.
Keep cooked meats separate from raw meat at all times.
Ensure that egg and egg products are thoroughly cooked.
Avoid dishes that contain raw eggs, for example some mousses, home-made mayonnaise and tiramisu.
Ensure that meat is thoroughly defrosted before being fully cooked.
What Should I Do if I Get Salmonella?
What is Giardiasis (Giardia) ?
Giardia is caused by the ingestion of the organism Giardia lamblia. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, loose pale greasy stools, fatigue and weight loss.
Where Does it Come From ?
Infection may occur after ingesting organisms. Outbreaks have been associated with drinking contaminated water, or by hand-to-mouth transfer of faeces from an infected person.
Illness can occur 1 to 4 weeks after ingestion of the organisms but on average is usually about 2 weeks.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of Giardia ?
Avoid drinking untreated water.
Thoroughly wash hands after contact with an infected person.
Wash hands after contact with human or animal faeces.
What Should I Do if I Get Giardia ?
What is Cryptosporidiosis ?
Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection of the gut which causes watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sometimes lethargy, nausea and fever.
Cryptosporidiosis is caused by the ingestion of the parasite via the faecal oral route. The most likely sources of the infection are contact with an infected person, and contact with an infected animal, particularly contact with lambs during the lambing season. Drinking untreated water can also result in the illness.
Illness after ingesting the parasite can result after 1-12 days but usually occurs after 7 days.
How Can I Minimise the Risk of Cryptosporidiosis ?
Wash hands after handling animals, in particular after visiting farms.
Thorough handwashing after contact with an infected person.
What Should I Do if I Get Cryptosporidiosis ?
If you visit the doctor, remember to say that you are a food handler (if this applies to you)
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