To avoid food-borne illnesses, observe hygiene rules and the cold and heat chain. If you suspect a food to be the cause of a food-borne illness, keep it refrigerated and contact the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC): or 0800 13 550. If symptoms persist or worsen, contact your general practitioner. 

What are the symptoms of a food-borne illness?

Symptoms of a food-borne illness depend on the microorganism or toxin ingested and on the health of the infected person

The most common symptoms are:

  • stomach ache
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • fever 
  • headaches and fatigue (less common).

After ingestion of a contaminated food, the time to onset of symptoms (incubation) varies from a few hours to a few days or a few months depending on the microorganism involved.

Symptoms caused by ingesting a toxin usually occur within hours after the meal.

More severe complications may occur such as septicemia, blocked kidneys, nervous disorders or miscarriage.

The main purpose of food-borne illness monitoring is to trace their cause in order to take preventive measures to avoid other cases.


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