News & Updates

Response to the Food Standards Agency’s research on foodborne illness and norovirus

The Food Standards Agency today published research on foodborne illness and norovirus in food

Dr Jacqui McElhiney, Head of Food Protection Science and Surveillance at Food Standards Scotland, said:

“The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) comprehensive study on the latest estimates of foodborne illness in the UK highlights that food is a more important source for certain bugs, such as norovirus, than we had previously thought.

“However, it is important to highlight that the increase in the FSA’s overall estimated number of cases does not indicate that more people are becoming ill, but rather these figures, through the latest scientific research methods, provide a more reliable indication of the role of food in human illness in the UK.

“Food Standards Scotland will continue working with others to ensure food is safe and reduce cases of food poisoning.

“This research emphasises the ongoing importance of practising good food hygiene, both when preparing and cooking meals at home and for catering businesses. To avoid cross-contamination and to reduce the risk of food poisoning, various safety steps should be taken such as washing hands and using separate chopping boards for raw foods and ready to eat foods, for example don’t use the same chopping board for both raw meat and vegetables.

“We encourage individuals working with food to follow guidance and take the appropriate steps if they become unwell to help reduce the risk of spreading harmful bacteria through food handling.”

  • Further guidance on fitness to work for food handlers can be found on the Food Standards Scotland website
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