Reporting of food related issues.

Food poisoning

  • Food poisoning is any illness caused by eating food or drink that is contaminated with certain types of bacteria, parasites, viruses or toxins.
  • Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Some people are at more risk of getting food poisoning than others, including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
  • In cases of suspected food borne illness it is strongly advised that you visit your doctor or medical practitioner and request a stool sample to confirm this; and that you retain a sample of the offending food product where possible.
Symptoms
  • The symptoms of food poisoning vary depending on the cause of the illness after eating contaminated food (incubation period).
  • The symptoms of food poisoning are often the same as the symptoms of viral gastro that is more often due to contact with another ill person (person to person spread) or contaminated surfaces.
  • People often blame the last meal they ate before they became ill but this is often not the case.
  • Illness can occur within an hour to many days and weeks after you eat contaminated food, depending on what type of bacteria was in the food.

How do I know if I have food poisoning?

  • Diagnosis must be made by a medical professional. See your doctor or go to hospital if you suspect you have food poisoning. 
  • If you suspect you have food poisoning consult your doctor, especially if you have severe symptoms. It is particularly important for vulnerable people such as the elderly or young children to have immediate medical attention.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration is especially dangerous for babies and the elderly.
  • As far as possible do not handle or prepare food for others until you are symptom free for 48 hours. This will prevent you from infecting others.
  • If you must handle food, wash your hands with soap and warm water and dry thoroughly to prevent cross-contamination.
  • If you work in food handling you are legally required to notify your employer. You must not handle food at work until you have been symptom free for 48 hours.

Lodging food poisoning concerns

The City’s Environmental Health officers investigate food safety concerns. The following information is needed to investigate your request:
  • when was the food of concern eaten? (date and time)
  • the name and full street address of the food business, or event where you ate the food of concern
  • the symptoms of anyone who has become ill and when they first started to feel unwell
  • details of the product - identify the food or foods you think have made you unwell, along with other foods eaten at the same time (including dips and sauces)
  • if packaged food include package codes and date markings – photos of labels may be requested
  • receipts of purchase if available
  • advise if there is any leftover food, as sometimes this may need to be tested if an officer determines this is warranted.
  • confirm if you, or anyone who has become ill, sought medical attention and submitted faecal specimens to a GP. To confirm food poisoning, a stool sample from a patient is required to be submitted to a GP. This is to isolate the particular bacteria that may have caused the illness. This is necessary to assist with testing food samples for specific bacteria that has been isolated in stool sample. Without an isolated bacteria type there are limitations to an investigation.

Other food safety matters

The City will investigate other food safety matters, including the following:
  • allergens or foreign object in food
  • unhygienic food handling, storage, transport or preparation
  • unclean food premises
  • pests on food premises
  • incorrect or incomplete food labeling

Other information

Samples
  • Samples submitted to the City of Canning form part of a health related investigation for the protection of the public and is not related to financial compensation.
  • Compensation is a civil matter between you and the food provider.
  • The City does not get involved with any correspondence or negotiations associated in this regard.
  • Members of the public are advised to obtain their own independent legal advice on such matters.
Food premises inspections
  • The City’s Environmental Health Services regularly conducts unannounced inspections of all food premises operating within the district, however we cannot be everywhere all the time and do rely on members of the public also reporting issues to us.
  • If you have food safety concerns then please lodge a request.

Report food issues

  • To report food issues, please select the appropriate type below. 
  • An officer will action within five (5) working days, including contacting you to clarify the nature of the complaint, check on any possible safety risks for City staff and explain the complaint process.
  • Your contact details are required when lodging this issue to ensure a proper investigation can be completed.
report food poisoning concern
report allergens or foreign objects in food
report unhygienic practices
report unclean food premises
report pests on food premises
report incorrect/incomplete food labelling
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