Suspected food-borne illness - advice

In Queensland each year, many people suffer from illnesses associated with eating contaminated food. Cases of suspected food-borne illness that are believed to be associated with consumption of food from a food business should be reported to Population Health Units of Queensland Health who can provide advice and may initiate an investigation.

Consult a doctor for possible treatment options for symptoms. If you do consult a doctor, ask them to test a faecal or vomitus specimen to confirm the cause of the illness.

Contact your local Population Health Unit promptly to report your illness, if you suspect you have a food-borne illness associated with consumption of food from a food business.

If you do not consult a doctor, your local Population Health Unit can arrange to have a faecal or vomitus specimen tested. If you are aware of any other persons suffering similar symptoms associated with consumption of the same food, encourage them to also consult a doctor and contact the local Population Health Unit. Ensure to keep any left over food that could be tested, if an Environmental Health Officer determines this is warranted.

Don’t assume that the cause of the illness is the last meal you ate.

It is a good idea to try to recall what you have eaten over the last three days prior to the illness as this is the incubation period (the time between eating the food and the appearance of the first symptoms) most likely to be associated with the illness. It is important to provide details of the nature, time and location of the incident where you believe you consumed the contaminated food. Investigation into the source of the illness may be important to prevent others becoming ill. Unless a food sample is available for testing to confirm the cause of the illness, an investigation may not be effective in determining the source of the illness.

Other Resources

Contact details for Public Health Units

Related Content

Report a food safety issue

Customer food complaint form