Symptoms of C. perfringens food poisoning

Key points

  • C. perfringens food poisoning can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps.
  • Symptoms can start suddenly.
  • They usually last less than 1 day.
A person with long black hair sitting on a couch holding their cramping stomach.


Most people with C. perfringens food poisoning have diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Symptoms C. perfringens food poisoning can start suddenly. This usually happens within 6 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms usually last about 1 day.

People with diarrhea should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

When to talk to your doctor

Should I call the doctor?

Contact your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting lasting more than 2 days
  • Bloody poop or pee
  • A fever higher than 102°F
  • Signs of dehydration (listed below)

What to look for


Dehydration is not having enough fluids in the body. If you have diarrhea, be sure to drink plenty of fluids.

Sign of dehydration include:

  • Little or no peeing
  • Having very dark pee
  • Being very thirsty
  • Having a dry mouth or throat
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Crying without tears

Dehydration can happen quickly in young children. Give children with diarrhea extra fluids, such as Pedialyte®* or oral rehydration salts. Do not wait.

*The use of trademarks is for identification only and does not imply an endorsement by the Public Health Service or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.