The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service works with the Ministry for Primary Industries to prevent the spread of diseases caused by food poisoning, when a link to a food premise (eg a restaurant) has been confirmed.

Diseases caused by food poisoning include gastroenteritis, salmonella, listeria and campylobacter.  They are confirmed when a GP (doctor) sends a stool (poo) sample to a laboratory for analysis.

GPs and laboratories are legally required to notify the Public Health Service when a disease is confirmed.


What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is the term used when someone becomes ill after eating food or drink containing harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, toxins or natural contaminants. It is also known as 'food-borne illness'.

It can occur when food has been incorrectly cooked, stored or handled. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with other illnesses may be more susceptible.

The risk of food poisoning can be reduced by following safe food handling advice (see links below).

Read about food poisoning symptoms and prevention on the Health Navigator website.


Other complaints about food

Any other concerns about food, unrelated to food poisoning, should be referred directly to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

This includes complaints about:

  • foreign objects 
  • incorrect or misleading labeling
  • food sold past its use-by date
  • undeclared allergens 

Ministry of Primary Industries website: How to make a complaint