How do I Treat Food Poisoning?

Article Details
  • Written By: Tara L. Barnes
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
When hiring new employees, Google no longer looks at most candidates' grade point averages and test scores.  more...

November 18 ,  1978 :  Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, led more than 900 people in a mass murder-suicide.  more...

It's normal to think of food with fondness, hunger and appreciation. It gives us life, sustains our planet and fills our bellies. When food turns against us in the form of food poisoning, however, it is a very unpleasant and even miserable experience. Knowing how to treat food poisoning is a vital first step to feeling better and taking care of your body. If your symptoms are mild and last less than a 24 hours cycle, you may be able successfully treat yourself at home. If you cannot keep any liquids or solid food down for more than 24 hours, you may need to seek medical assistance, mainly consisting of intravenous (IV) rehydration.

There are several sources of food poisoning. One type of food poisoning is caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The bacterium salmonella is probably the most well-known of these food poisoning sources. Salmonella is usually found in undercooked meats and meat products, or foods that are prepared in unsanitary conditions. Another source of food poisoning is toxic food. With toxic food, the food itself — in its natural state — is poisonous to humans. Certain species of mushrooms and fish are poisonous to eat.


Less severe food poisoning symptoms can usually be self-treated. If you are having short episodes of food poisoning in the form of vomiting and diarrhea lasting less than a day, you should be able to treat yourself at home. Drink plenty of fluids, but do not attempt to eat any solid foods if you are still vomiting or feeling nauseous. Avoid any caffeine, alcohol or sugary drinks as these will only dehydrate you further. Seek out fluids like water and other electrolyte-enhanced drinks, such as sports drinks.

In addition to staying hydrated, you should treat food poisoning with lots of rest. For more serious forms of poisoning, you won't have many options — your body will feel weak and you won't want to do much else than lie down. For less severe forms of food poisoning, where you feel like you can still carry out some of your normal routine, it's important to force yourself to rest. No matter the severity of the food poisoning, the body will expend a lot of energy fighting off the poison.

As you begin to feel better, and are able to keep fluids down, you'll be able to slowly introduce solid foods. Plain foods like toast, rice, potatoes and bananas are easily digestible foods to start with. If you are concerned with overcoming your diarrhea, you may safely take an over-the-counter diarrhea medication, as long as you take it according to the manufacturer's directions. Continue to drink lots of clear fluids to keep the body hydrated as you reintroduce solid foods.

Severe food poisoning symptoms, including those that continue unabated for over 24 hours, may require medical attention. Since vomiting and diarrhea quickly dehydrate the body, professional help may be required to properly treat food poisoning. Through the use of an IV, a doctor can ensure that the body maintains the amount of fluids it needs.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 5

I want to do a food poisoning science project. Any ideas?

Post 4

@plaid - The first thing you should realize is that there are three major steps that will keep your wooden chopping block in tact. Since you can't put a portable chopping block in the dishwasher (and you wouldn't want to anyway because heat drying could make it crack), you should have it sealed right away.

Aside from that there are several things you can do in order to sanitize your board. Among them are: hydrogen peroxide, bleach, vinegar and the hot water and soap method that gameaddicted previously mentioned. I know it's not an in-depth look at things, but it should help you greatly and keep you from having to figure out how to treat food poisoning at home altogether! Good luck!

Post 3

@plaid - You should always treat your wood well and never put it in the dishwasher. Caring for wood isn't in my expertise, but a quite jaunt through wiseGEEK says that you should clean it with white vinegar after each use. I would assume that many cleaners have chemicals in them that could worsen the symptoms of food poisoning if the board isn't properly washed. I would say that hot, hot water and a good scrub down would work well, too, but again I'm not an expert.

Post 2

@gameaddicted - How would you suggest properly cleaning an unsealed wooden surface such as a large cutting board or a portable chopping block? I normally just scrub it down with some dish soap or spray it with cleaner and wipe it down. Is that sufficient enough?

Post 1

It is important to prevent food poisoning by properly cleaning your prep areas. This goes for residential and commercial kitchens, but commercial kitchens are at risk to lose much more. Things like salmonella poisoning on your establishment's record won't go over too well, believe me.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?