Food Poisoning

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:

Food Poisoning Guidelines

  • 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.

Food Poisoning Checklist

  • 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.