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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Food poisoning allegations (FOI)

Food poisoning allegations (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 26 August 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Please can you confirm in the last three years:


The number of allegations of food poisoning by members of the public made against hospitality venues in Jersey? Please include hotels, restaurants, cafés and so on. 


How many resulting food safety investigations were carried out by Environmental Health as a result of these allegations?


How many of those allegations were substantiated, in other words the source of the food poisoning was attributed to the hospitality venue against which the allegation was made rather than an alternative source?


How many investigations were carried out across the whole island in connection with all sources, ie hospitality, food retail outlets and private homes, as a result a positive sample for food poisoning being confirmed and reported to Environmental Health.


A and B 

The Environmental Health (‘EH’) database records allegations relating to food as ‘Alleged Illness’, which includes potential cases of food poisoning and allergic reactions to food.

The following table provides the information requested in relation to hospitality venues for the last three years.

​ ​ ​ ​Complaints received re alleged food poisoning or allergic reactions within last three years


​Number of complaints

​Number of investigations

Number of investigations not progressed​

​Food poisoning ​1410​4​
​Allergic reaction to food ​7​6​1






The following are examples as to why EH may not be able to formally investigate a complaint made against a hospitality venue in relation to alleged food poisoning or allergies:

  • the complainant was unable to provide enough information to warrant an investigation being carried out

  • the onset of the symptoms do not match the scale indicated regarding consumption of the food suspected to be the cause of the poisoning

  • following discussion with customer the food allergy complaint was not justified and considered that no legal breach had occurred

  • resolved informally with complainant and agreed that it did not need to be pursued further


EH follows up all suspected occurrences of illness which relate to food poisoning or food allergies with the complainant, however, as detailed above not all cases are formally investigated.

The following table shows the substantiated cases in relation to hospitality venues during the period requested.

​Number of substantiated allegations of food poisoning and food allergies in relation to hospitality venues during last three years


​Number of substantiated cases

​Food poisoning ​0
​Allergic reaction to food ​3
​Total ​3

In order to substantiate an allegation of food poisoning or allergic reaction to food the department generally requires the following:

  • a positive stool sample

  • a positive food sample and / or an outbreak of two or more patients suffering the same symptoms having eaten the same food

The remaining complaints were closed due to a lack of evidence, however advice is given to any premises that have had allegations made against them.


It is EH’s policy to call and interview all patients with a confirmed case of food poisoning. A confirmed case is one where the Hospital laboratory have provided a positive result for food poisoning.

There were 436 island wide confirmed cases of food poisoning during the last three years, 390 of which were categorised as ‘source not determined’ as there was no clear source of the where food poisoning originated.

15 of the confirmed cases resulted in food premises being visited by an EH officer.

EH officers were unable to progress 31 of the investigations since the patient did not respond to the officer’s telephone calls or letters.

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