It deals with a wide range of diseases such as salmonella and hepatitis A, shigella, VTEC (E.coli) infection, typhoid, listeriosis and gastroenteritis relating to contaminated foods. These are generally alerted to us by general practitioners. We also investigate suspected food-borne illnesses reported by the public. Our role is to identify the source of the illness and prevent it from spreading further.
When we are notified of an outbreak or a notifiable disease case, in most instances, our first response is to interview the cases by phone or in person. From this we are able to establish the likely source and pathogen by comparing the nature of the symptoms and the incubation period. Outbreak cases may be required to produce faecal and food specimens for analysis.
When a food premise is implicated, we review the evidence and if there is a link to the illness then the premise details are referred to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for their follow up.
Last updated 8.3.2019