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. 

When to see the doctor?

A benign food-borne illness does not require treatment and clears up spontaneously within 48 hours.Just make sure that you get enough rest and drink plenty of water. 

If symptoms persist or worsen, consult a general practitioner.

In some cases, a food-borne illness may be more severe and require consultation with a doctor or even hospitalisation:

  • if the temperature exceeds 38°C
  • if there is blood in the stools
  • if there is dehydration (infrequent urination, dry mouth and throat, dizziness)
  • if the diarrhoea lasts more than 3 days.

At-risk people are more likely to have food-borne illness and develop complications.

DID YOU KNOW? Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria. However, their abusive or excessive use in veterinary and human medicine promotes the development and spread of resistant bacteria. An illness caused by a resistant bacteria is difficult to treat. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses.

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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