Foodborne and waterborne disease

Foodborne and waterborne disease becomes common when food and water sources are contaminated with pathogens (harmful bugs). National Public Health Service (NPHS) - Northern Region monitors notifiable food and waterborne diseases to minimise, manage and respond to outbreaks and single cases.

We respond to a variety of diseases and causative organisms, including:

General practitioners and medical laboratories inform public health of cases of some types of foodborne and waterborne illness. We also investigate suspected foodborne illness reported by the public. Our role is to identify the source of illness and prevent it from spreading.

NPHS - Northern Region monitors the number of food and waterborne diseases throughout the year. Some illnesses are investigated through an over-the-phone or face-to-face interview with the case and/or their whānau (ie family). This allows us to assess the likely source of infection. In outbreak situations, cases may be asked to provide faecal or food samples for testing.

When a food premise is implicated, we review the evidence and if there is a suspected link then the premise details are referred to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) or the local council for their follow up.

Last updated 14.5.2024

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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