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Infectious diseases

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3. Controlling the spread of infection

Practising good hygiene

Whilst you have symptoms (e.g. vomiting and/or diarrhoea) you should remain at home and observe high standards of personal hygiene. This will help prevent the spread to other family members.

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Do not share towels and flannels
  • Do not share cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery
  • Disinfect any hard surfaces that an infected person has touched with a chlorine releasing agent, such as bleach

If you are a food handler, or work with the elderly, young children or ill people, you should notify your employer, and do not return to work until you have been free from all symptoms for at least 48 hours.

If you work in a food business, you must let your manager or supervisor know immediately. If you are not a food handler but work with vulnerable groups such as elderly or young people you should let your manager or supervisor know.

If you are suffering from an infectious disease you should not be at work, especially if you are a food handler, nurse or work with young children or the elderly.

You can normally return to work 48 hours after you have recovered.

Information for food handlers

The Spotty Book has been replaced by Health protection in children and young people settings, including education – GOV.UK ( and provides general guidance for school teachers and people with young children in their care about the prevention and control of infectious diseases.


When this content has been updated

Last updated 1 March 2023