Food Poisoning Quick Overview
- Food poisoning is a disease that
usually results in vomiting and diarrhea after a person eats or drinks
fluids contaminated with certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals
- The most common symptoms and signs
of food poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea.
- Other symptoms that may occur
abdominal pain and/or cramps.
- Severe signs and symptoms may
dehydration, blood in vomit or stools, diarrhea over three days, and
neurologic symptoms; for example, weakness, blurry vision, and an abnormal
sensation of the body such as burning, tingling, or numbness (paresthesias).
- Causes include many agents
including viral and bacterial strains, parasites, and chemicals (toxins).
- Depending on the cause of food poisoning, the duration of the majority of food
poisoning usually ranges from a few hours after exposure to contaminated
food or fluid to several days.
- Treatment of food poisoning
depends on the cause; most people self-cure in a few days, but some
causes may benefit from specific antibiotic or antiparasite treatments once the
cause is identified.
- Home remedies to soothe food poisoning symptoms may help speed
recovery and may include:
- Slowly begin to eat bland foods like rice, bananas, toast, gelatin
fatty, and seasoned or spicy foods)
What is the definition of food poisoning?
Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, or chemicals.
Typical symptoms of food poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea.
What foods are most commonly associated with food poisoning?
Foods most commonly associated
with food poisoning include:
- Unpasteurized milk or other fluids
- Raw fruits and vegetables (usually
What is the difference between food poisoning and gastroenteritis (stomach flu)?
Gastroenteritis (stomach flu) is defined as an infection or irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, especially the stomach or intestines. It is a slightly more specific term that describes a particular type of food poisoning. However, the term is used most often to describe stomach irritation or inflammation due to infection, including non-food-related infections.
Last Reviewed 9/28/2017
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