Food Complaints and Food Poisoning
Environmental Health Officers have responsibility for managing food complaints from the public relating to food safety issues and the investigation and control of food poisoning outbreaks. It is estimated that 20% of the population of England suffer from some form of food poisoning every year. This results in ill health and costs the NHS, employers and the economy millions of pounds.
GPs are required to notify the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC) of a number of infectious diseases. These include a range of diseases carried in food such as Salmonella, E. Coli and Campylobacter. The Food Safety Team works with the CCDC to investigate food borne infections. The aim is to establish where the patient may have caught the infection and to ensure that they do not in turn pass on the infection to others. When the Food Safety Team are notified of a case, they may visit and interview the patients to try to establish a food history and where the patient has eaten before the infection started. The occupation of the patient is considered to see whether they are likely to pass on the infection to others in the course of their work. If it is likely that the infection may have arisen from a food premise in the District the matter will be investigated. If it is thought that the infection may have been contracted outside the district they will notify the appropriate Local Authority. All the reports are returned to the CCDC who in turn forwards the information to the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre where regional and national trends are compiled.
Making a Complaint
If you have a reason to complain about food that you have purchased, or about standards or practices that you have observed in food businesses, it is important that you contact the Food Safety Team as soon as possible in order for the complaint to be investigated.
Any complaint is dealt with in confidence and can help prevent any further problems occurring. For more information on making a food complaint or food poisoning bacteria the Food Safety Team has produced a range of leaflets available to download below.
Food alerts let you know about problems associated with food. In somes cases they give details of specific action that needs to be taken. Food alerts are often issued in conjunction with a product recall or withdrawal by a manufacturer, retailer or distributor. The Food Standards Agency publish a list of food alerts on their website at the following link: http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/alerts/ You can also get food alert details sent direct to your mobile phone. To get this free service, simply send the text message 'FSA' from your mobile 07866 428260.
For more information, contact the Food and Safety Team on 01594 812418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org