Food Poisoning : How to check if you have Food Poisoning?


People can become unwell from something they ate or drank and contract food poisoning, one type of foodborne illness. The germs or other toxic components in the meal or drinks are the causes.

Vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset stomach are common signs of food poisoning. Typically, after ingesting the dish, symptoms appear hours or even days later. Most people only suffer minor illnesses, which heal on their own.

Food poisoning can occasionally result in serious sickness or consequences.


Foodborne infections can be brought on by a variety of pollutants or hazardous organisms. "Contaminated" refers to food or drink that contains a contaminant. Any of the following can contaminate food:

  • Bacteria.
  • Viruses.
  • Intestinal parasites can survive there.
  • Toxins, are sometimes known as poisons.
  • Bacteria that produce or transport poisons.
  • Toxins-producing moulds.

All foodborne infections are generally referred to as "food poisoning." To be more particular, a healthcare professional might use the following terms:

  • Any infections caused by tainted food or drink are referred to as "foodborne illnesses."
  • In this sense, the term "food poisoning" refers to sickness caused by toxins. Food poisoning is one kind of foodborne sickness.

Other sources

Pools, lakes, ponds, rivers, and seas can all contain bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. Furthermore, some germs, including E. coli, can spread through contact with infected animals.

How to check if you have Food Poisoning?

Infants and young children.

In infants and young children, vomiting and diarrhea can quickly result in low bodily fluid levels, also known as dehydration. For newborns, this can result in serious sickness.

If your child exhibits vomiting, diarrhea, or any of the following symptoms, call your child's doctor right away:

  • Unusual adjustments to behavior or thought.
  • Extreme thirst
  • No or little urinating.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • More than one day's worth of diarrhea.
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Bloody or puss-filled stools.
  • Stools with tarry or black surfaces.
  • Severe rectum or stomach ache.
  • Any fever in kids younger than two years old.
  • Older children have a fever of at least 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius).
  • History of further medical issues.


Adults should consult a doctor or if any of the following occur, seek emergency care:

  • Signs of the nervous system, include tingling skin, weak muscles, and blurred eyesight.
  • Alterations in behaviour or thought.
  • 103° Fahrenheit as fever (39.4 degrees Celsius).
  • Frequent vomiting
  • More than three days of diarrhoea.
  • Dehydration signs include excessive thirst, a dry mouth, insufficient urination, extreme fatigue, dizziness, or lightheadedness.

Risk Factors

Food poisoning can affect anyone. Some persons have a higher propensity to fall ill or to develop more severe conditions or consequences. These people consist of:

  • Children and babies.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Older people.
  • People whose immune systems have been compromised by another illness or medical treatment.


Different symptoms occur depending on the illness's underlying cause. Depending on the cause, they could begin right once or take a few weeks.

Common signs include:

  • Uneasy stomach
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Vomiting and bloody stools.
  • Cramping and stomach ache.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.

Food poisoning seldom affects the neurological system and can result in serious illness. Some signs could be:

  • Double or blurred vision
  • Headache.
  • Loss of limb movement
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Skin tingling or numbness.
  • Weakness.
  • Voice changes in terms of sound.


To avoid foodborne illness at home, try the following:

Handwashing. Spend no less than 20 seconds washing your hands with soap and water. After using the restroom, before eating, and both before and after handling food, perform this.

Wash produce before eating. Before eating, peeling, or prepping fruits and vegetables, give them a quick rinse under running water.

Kitchenware should be completely cleaned. After coming into touch with unwashed fruits and vegetables or raw meats, cutting boards, knives, and other tools should be rinsed in soapy water.

Eat no meat or fish that is uncooked or undercooked. Make sure the meat is cooked through by using a meat thermometer. Whole meats and fish should be cooked to at least 145 F (63 C) and rested for at least three minutes. Cook ground beef to at least 160°F (71 C). Prepare whole and poultry to a minimum of 165 F. (74 C).

Put leftovers in the fridge or freezer. After your dinner, immediately place leftovers in closed containers in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator, leftovers can be stored for three to four days. Immediately freeze them if you do not believe you will consume them within four days.

Make cautious use of leftovers. There are three safe ways to defrost frozen food. It can be microwaved. It may be placed in the refrigerator where it will defrost overnight. Or, you might place the frozen food in a leak-proof container and place it on the counter in cold water. Warm up leftovers until they reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside (74 degrees Celsius).

When in doubt, discard it. If you are unsure about how something was prepared. Discard it after being securely served or kept. It could not be safe to consume even though it appears to and smells great.

Put away any rotten food. Discard any baked goods that have mould. Soft, mouldy fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, cherries, and peaches should be thrown out. Also, discard any mouldy nuts or nut products. Mold may be removed from hard, low-moisture foods like carrots, bell peppers, and hard cheeses. Remove at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of food surrounding the mouldy area.

Clear out the fridge. Every few months, clean the interior of the refrigerator. Mix 1 quart (0.9 litres) of water with 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) of baking soda to create a cleaning solution. The refrigerator mould should be removed.

Safety for those who are in danger

Food poisoning can be particularly dangerous for expectant mothers, young children, elderly persons, and those with compromised immune systems. These conditions might be lethal. The following foods should be avoided by these people:

  • Meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish that are raw or undercooked.
  • Meals that may contain raw or undercooked eggs, such as homemade ice cream and cookie dough.
  • Some examples of uncooked sprouts are alfalfa, bean, clover, and radish.
  • Juices and ciders without pasteurisation.
  • Milk and milk products without pasteurisation.
  • Cheese with blue veins, cheese that has not been pasteurised, and soft cheeses like feta, brie, and Camembert.
  • Pates and meat spread kept in the fridge.
  • Uncooked luncheon meats and hot dogs


The severity of your symptoms and the source of the sickness will determine how you should be treated for food poisoning. Drug therapy is typically not required.

The following may be part of the treatment:

Replenishment of fluids. Electrolytes and fluids keep the fluid balance in your body in check. Minerals like calcium, potassium, and sodium are examples of electrolytes. It is crucial to replenish lost fluids after vomiting or diarrhoea to avoid becoming dehydrated. Going to the hospital may be necessary for severe dehydration. You could require intravenous delivery of fluids and electrolytes.

Antibiotics. You could be given an antibiotic if bacteria are the cause of your disease. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to patients who have a serious illnesses or who are at a higher risk of complications.

Antiparasitics. Antiparasitics, or medications that specifically target parasites, are frequently used for parasitic illnesses.

Probiotics.  A health professional could advise probiotics. With these procedures, the digestive system's beneficial microorganisms are replaced.

medications for nausea or diarrhoea

Loperamide (Imodium A-D) is a medication that can be used to treat diarrhoea in adults who do not have a fever and have non-bloody diarrhoea. To cure an upset stomach, they could also take bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, etc.). It is not advised for children to use these over-the-counter medications.

Consult your doctor about these possibilities.

In the majority of cases, symptoms subside without medical intervention after 48 hours. Do the following to maintain your comfort and avoid dehydration while you are recuperating:

Let your tummy relax. After your stomach has calmed and you feel hungry once more, continue eating.

Change the fluids. Water, sports drinks, juice with additional water, or broths should be used in place of fluids. Rehydration fluids should be consumed by children or those at risk for serious illness (Pedialyte, Enfalyte, others). Before feeding newborns rehydration fluids, consult your doctor.

Return to eating slowly. Start eating bland, low-fat, easily digestible meals, such as bread, gelatin, bananas, and rice, gradually. If you experience nausea once more, stop eating.

You should abstain from certain meals and drugs until you feel better. They include milk, coffee, alcohol, and greasy or heavily seasoned meals, as well as nicotine.

Rest. Rest is necessary for health and dehydration recovery.

Complications of Food Poisoning

The majority of healthy persons rarely experience difficulties. The following are examples of them.


The most typical problem is dehydration. The loss of water, salts, and minerals is significant. Both diarrhoea and vomiting can lead to dehydration.

The majority of healthy persons are able to hydrate themselves sufficiently. Children, elderly individuals, those with compromised immune systems, and those suffering from various ailments might not be able to replenish the fluids they have lost. They are more susceptible to dehydration.

If a person becomes dehydrated, a hospital may need to inject fluids straight into their bloodstream. If left untreated, severe dehydration can result in death, organ damage, and other serious illnesses.

Symptoms of systemic illness

Systemic disease or infection, often known as more widespread disease, can be brought on by some pollutants.

Those who are older, have compromised immune systems, or have other medical disorders are more likely to experience this. Systemic infections from microorganisms in food may result in:

Thrombosis in the kidneys. Blood clots brought in by E. coli can obstruct the kidneys' filtering mechanism. The abrupt inability of the kidneys to remove waste from the blood is the result of this illness, known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome. Other bacteria or viruses may cause this illness less frequently.

There are bacteria in the blood. Bloodborne illnesses can be transmitted to other body parts or brought on by bacteria in the blood.

Meningitis. Inflammation known as meningitis has the potential to harm the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.

Sepsis. Sepsis is an immune system overreaction to a systemic illness. that harms the tissues within the body.

Obstetrical complications

Pregnancy-related listeria infection symptoms include:

  • A stillbirth or miscarriage.
  • An infant with sepsis.
  • Newborn with meningitis.

Unusual problems that can arise from food poisoning include the following:

  • Arthritis. 
  • Joint discomfort, soreness, or swelling are symptoms of arthritis.
  • Bowel irritability syndrome. 
  • Chronic intestinal pain, cramping, and irregular bowel motions are all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  •  An immune system attack on the nerves causes Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause tingling, numbness, and loss of muscle control.
  • Occasionally, botulism can harm the nerves that regulate the breathing muscles.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 16, 2023

Next review due: Mar 16, 2025

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