What are the Different Food Poisoning Signs?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 March 2020
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Food poisoning is a series of symptoms that arise as a result of eating bacteria-contaminated food. There are many types of bacteria contamination that can cause food poisoning, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Poisoning often occurs if food is improperly handled, undercooked, or left out for too long; so one of the best means of avoiding the following food poisoning signs is to ensure that food is cooked and handled properly.

Within several hours of ingesting contaminated food, food poisoning signs may begin to appear. The most common symptoms are stomach-related, including nausea, stomach pain, gas, or a general feeling of stomach discomfort. Often, vomiting and diarrhea occur shortly after the first symptoms. All of these symptoms may last several days and will usually resolve on their own. Careful monitoring of food poisoning is often recommended, however, as some cases of food poisoning may include additional symptoms, and can even result in serious or fatal complications.

Other common signs of food poisoning include muscle aches or weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation in the hands and feet. In some cases, a low fever may appear, but usually lasts no more than 24 hours. Some experts recommend calling a doctor or healthcare provider if vomiting or fever last longer than a day, or other symptoms develop.


The appearance of certain food poisoning signs may give clues to the specific bacteria causing illness. Botulism typically includes vision problems, such as blurring and double vision. Large amounts of blood in stool may indicate salmonella or E. coli. Vision problems, confusion, neurological symptoms, paralysis, or considerable blood in stool are all considered serious symptoms that may warrant immediate medical attention.

If food poisoning symptoms appear following the consumption of fish or shellfish, special care should be taken. Fish and shellfish may contain toxins that cannot be eliminated through correct cooking or proper handling. If food poisoning signs — especially neurological symptoms, numbness, or paralysis — occur after consuming seafood, some experts suggest contacting a doctor.

Many cases of food poisoning are mild and can be easily treated at home. Because of fluid loss due to vomiting and diarrhea, care should be taken to avoid dehydration. Some people recommend drinking only water at first, but others suggest sports drinks with added electrolytes in order to replace trace minerals in the body. To reduce nausea and stomach symptoms, over-the-counter drugs can be helpful in some cases. Food should be reintroduced gradually, beginning with plain, simple food such as soda crackers or toast.


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Post 6

I got food poisoning after eating thin steak bought at walmart yesterday. About 20 minutes to 30 later I got very dizzy, like I was going to faint and then nausea vomiting, then the diarrhea. I still feel light headed. Been drinking water all day. What else can I do to get well? And what should I do about the meat I purchased from the store. I used two pieces out of the eight.

Post 4

@medicchristy: Yes, there are other foods that you can eat. You should try plain foods and in small amounts. Of course, this is only after you have successfully tolerated fluids.

Rice, wheat, potatoes, low-sugar cereals and breads are the best place to start. If you can tolerate that, you could move on to lean meat like chicken. Avoid fried foods. Some say that milk can be tolerated but it has never worked out for me.

Post 3

Are there foods other than crackers and toast that can be eaten after the first day?

Post 2

@dinoleash: It is a good idea to stay away from solid foods for a couple of days. Fluids are the best way to keep from becoming dehydrated. If you drink sports drinks like Gatorade, you should dilute it with water. If you drink them as they are, the high sugar content could make the diarrhea worsen.

Post 1

Are there other food poisoning treatments that can be done at home?

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