Food poisoning, or food borne illness, is often caused by bacteria from food that has been incorrectly handled, stored or cooked. The food usually looks, tastes and smells normal. Some people are more at risk from food poisoning including young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with other illnesses.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headaches

Contact us if you suspect you are suffering from food poisoning.

Check out these resources for more information:

Keeping food safe

Around 200,000 people get sick every year in New Zealand from food.  About 40% of sicknesses are thought to be caused by unsafe food handling practices in the home.

Food borne illnesses can be caused by bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter as well as fungi, parasites, viruses and toxins that contaminate food.

It’s easy to reduce the risk of food borne illness by following four simple rules: Clean, Cook, Cover, Chill

More resources:

Food complaints

Contact the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) if you wish to report a food complaint, other than a foodborne illness. Phone 0800 008 333 or email

Typical examples include:

  • apparent breach in food for sale regulations
  • foreign objects
  • undeclared allergens
  • Incorrect labelling

Premises hygiene complaints

If you want to report a 'dirty' food premises or unhygienic practices of food handlers, contact an Environmental Health Officer at your local council.

Typical examples include:

  • vermin
  • poor personal hygiene of food handlers
  • visibly unclean premises
  • poor food handling and hand-hygiene (use of gloves is optional).