Food poisoning


The FSA promotes the microbiological safety of food throughout the food chain. It is responsible for the strategy for reducing foodborne illness, promoting a hazard analysis-based approach to food safety management and providing guidance for producers, retailers, caterers and the general public. It also deals with microbiological food hazards and outbreaks of foodborne disease.

More in this section

  • Foodborne disease strategy

    Food safety is the Agency's top priority and the reduction of foodborne disease is a key objective to ensuring food safety.

  • Campylobacter

    Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It is considered to be responsible for around 460,000 cases of food poisoning, 22,000 hospitalisations and 110 deaths each year and most of these cases come from poultry. Campylobacter can also be found in red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water.

  • Listeria

    Listeriosis, the foodborne illness caused by listeria, is relatively rare but listeria causes more deaths from food poisoning in the UK than other foodborne bugs. Vulnerable groups of the population are at increased risk. The Agency aims to reduce the number of cases of listeriosis in the UK by the year 2015 through the Listeria Risk Management Programme.

  • Flooding: food safety advice

    Flood water can be contaminated with sewage, animal waste and other waste, from drains or the surrounding area, and so could be contaminated with harmful bacteria or chemicals. However any contaminants in the water are usually very diluted and so the risks of getting ill are low. Also following simple hygiene practices should be enough to avoid getting ill from flood water.

  • Norovirus

    Norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common cause of infectious intestinal disease, resulting in diarrhoea and vomiting, in the UK. This section outlines the work being done to reduce foodborne norovirus under the Agency's Foodborne Disease Strategy.