Suspected food poisoning

Information on suspected food poisoning, the symptoms, when we will investigate and how to report it.


Symptoms of food poisoning include feeling and being sick, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. 

Check symptoms of food poisoning and how to treat it 

Please note: Food poisoning bacteria can continue to be found in your system for a significant period after your symptoms have stopped. 

When the council will investigate

To determine whether a person has had food poisoning, it is necessary for the person who is unwell to visit their doctor and arrange a stool sample for microbiological testing in a laboratory. 

Analysis of the sample will identify what bacteria and viruses caused the food poisoning and will assist our team in their investigations. 

Common causative agents include campylobactersalmonellalisteria and E.coli.

Incubation periods, symptoms and the duration of the illness will vary between different microorganisms (causative agents), which can be found in different types of food. 

Our Environmental Health team will only conduct an investigation at a food premises in Hillingdon if: 

  • a stool sample has been taken by your doctor and food poisoning bacteria was identified or 
  • more than 1 unconnected/unrelated person reports food poisoning symptoms following eating at a food business. 

Report suspected food poisoning 

To report a suspected case of food poisoning, complete our online form. 

If you have the lab report from testing, please attach this to your form. 

Report suspected food poisoning

Food hygiene ratings 

For peace of mind, check the food hygiene rating awarded for food businesses in Hillingdon before you purchase food to eat. 

Search for food hygiene ratings 

Page last updated: 21 Feb 2023