If you think you may have food poisoning stay off school or work until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours to avoid spread in the community as this is when you're most infectious. If you haven’t already done so, please visit your GP as soon as possible to submit a poo specimen.  The submission of a specimen will help to establish whether or not you have been suffering from bacterial or viral food poisoning

If you work with food or vulnerable people

If your job involves handling food (of any description) or you work in a health care environment working with the elderly or young children you should inform your employer and stay away from work until you have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours.

Guidance to help managers and staff prevent the spread of infection is provided by the Food Standards Agency.  This includes advice on which illnesses and symptoms staff should report and what managers should do in response.

Read the Food Handlers: Fitness for work advice

What happens next

When you have reported your complaint we will record the details and monitor the premises for any similar notifications.  We will send you an advice leaflet and a comprehensive questionnaire to gather a detailed history of the other foods you have eaten during the 5 days prior to the onset of your symptoms.  This includes foods both prepared in the home and consumed elsewhere, shopping habits and food handling practices.  We may contact you first to get more information regarding the incident especially if there are a few people affected.

Your completed returned questionnaires are entered onto our systems and if your sample results show that you have bacterial food poisoning and your food history shows that your illness could be linked to a food premises in Sheffield, we will look at the history of the premises and may decide to investigate further dependent on our findings.

Please note: if you haven’t submitted a poo specimen we will not be able to take any further action, as we will have no evidence to proceed further.

If you think you may have contracted your illness from premises outside of the Sheffield area, we may decide it is necessary to liaise with the relevant local authority on your behalf or request that you contact them directly.

Health Protection

5th Floor North
Howden House
1 Union Street
Sheffield

S1 2SH

Supporting information