With the recent good weather many of us have been spending more time outdoors, maybe hosting barbecues, or having contact with farm animals. Unfortunately, with this rise in outdoors activity comes an increased risk of stomach bugs.

Eating undercooked meat, handling raw meat and contact with farm animals can carry a risk of infection which can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever.

To help prevent infections you should:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after contact with farm animals.
  • Avoid cross contamination with raw meats - always prepare them on a separate surface to vegetables and cooked meats, and wash hands with soap and water after handling.
  • Cook food thoroughly, especially when barbecuing: using a food thermometer can be helpful.
  • Store food correctly at the recommended temperature.

Dr Susan Laidlaw, Director of Public Health said “If you are experiencing symptoms of a stomach bug then you should stay off work until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped, especially if you work with people who may be particularly vulnerable or if you handle food. Children should stay off nursery, school and activities with other children also until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped. To ease symptoms make sure to drink plenty of fluids, with oral rehydration solution if needed, and you can take paracetamol. To help prevent the bug spreading to other people, please wash your hands regularly. Alcohol wipes and gels are not very effective against tummy bugs, soap and water is best.”

Published: Wednesday, 15th May 2024