Food poisoning

You should expect safe food when you are eating at a restaurant, takeaway, event or market.

How to report food safety issues

If you have concerns about the food being served, call the Northern Territory Food Safety Hotline on 1800 095 646 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm or email

Environmental Health officers investigate all complaints about food safety.

When to report

You should report any of the following:

  • hot food that isn't served hot - it should be at least 60ºC
  • cold food that isn't served cold - it should be less than 5ºC, including sandwiches and deli produce
  • foreign objects in your food such as hairs, mould, paper, plastic and insects
  • out-of-date food
  • dirty food premises
  • high risk foods such as dairy produce, seafood and meat being transported in vehicles that are open or aren't refrigerated
  • undercooked foods that should be cooked thoroughly
  • food being handled incorrectly.

If you work in the food industry and believe there are safety issues with food being stored, handled, prepared and cooked, you should call the hotline.

Food poisoning

If you believe you have contracted food poisoning from food you have purchased, you should contact the hotline.

If you still have the food, keep it wrapped in the fridge, not the freezer, and keep the packaging and/or containers.


Symptoms usually happen from 1 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food.

They can include any or all of the following:

  • explosive diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • fever
  • abdominal cramp.

When to get medical help

If the symptoms are severe or if the person is elderly, a very young child or their immune system is compromised, you should seek medical advice immediately.

If symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, they may need to provide a specimen to help with the diagnosis.


For general queries, email

Last updated: 18 July 2022

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