Food poisoning occurs when a food or beverage becomes contaminated with a pathogen, such as a bacteria, virus, or another of more than 250 different contaminants. In many cases, food poisoning will go away after a few days; however, in some instances, food poisoning can lead to severe illness, long-lasting health problems, and even result in death.
If you or a loved one contract food poisoning, follow these tips to reduce symptoms, become healthy, or get help as appropriate:
- 1 Stay hydrated: Many food-related illnesses cause diarrhea and/or sweating, so drinking lots of non-caffeinated fluids is important.
- 2 Avoid dairy products and solid, spicy, or fatty foods while you are recovering.
- 3 Do not prepare food for others while you are sick, so that you don’t spread your illness.
- 4 Make a doctor’s appointment if symptoms do not go away after two or three days.
- 5 Seek emergency care if you vomit or evacuate blood, have trouble breathing or swallowing, or experience extreme abdominal pain.
- Water or non-caffeinated beverages are on hand to prevent dehydration.
- Doctor’s office and emergency room numbers are posted prominently in case they are needed.