Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Infectious diseases

The Food and Safety Team is informed of all cases of food poisoning caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. Coli.

Investigations are carried out to try and find out how the infection was caught. This information is then used to prevent the spread of infection to others and where possible to prevent it happening again.

Reporting a notifiable disease

From 1 October 2010, sections 2 & 4 of the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010 require doctors and laboratories to notify the Proper Officer of the Local Authority when they have information about a case of notifiable disease.

We work closely with the Public Health England and has appointed the Consultant in Infectious Disease based at the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Public Health England Centre in Horsham as our Proper Officer.

All notifications by GP's in our borough should be directed to them at:

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Public Health England Centre
County Hall North
Chart Way
Horsham
West Sussex
RH12 1XA
Telephone: 0344 225 3861
Fax: 01403 251 006
Email: phe.sshpu@nhs.net

Advice for food businesses and employers in the care sector (either young children or senior citizens)

It is important to ensure that members of staff do not return to work until they are no longer infectious. For some common illnesses this means they should be clear of the symptoms for 48 hours. Please see the Food Standards Agency guide here.

For other illnesses such as typhoid, it will need an extensive clearance procedure before they will be allowed back to work. For non-food related illnesses, please either see the information on the Infectious Diseases (Public Health England website) or consult your GP for advice.

Food handlers

Food handlers have a legal duty to report to their employer any illness or skin infection which could be passed on to others through food, but you should also enquire further if you think they may have diarrhoea or sickness. It is also a good idea to ask employees to complete a return to work form after annual leave or sickness so that you can be sure they have not had a food related illness.

Further advice for employers and a form template can be found on the Food Standards Agency website along with a fitness for work guide. Employers can use this advice to decide if this person presents a risk to customers through their normal food handling duties and if so should remove that person from food handling duties until they have recovered.