Food Poisoning Symptoms
Food poisoning symptoms can be anywhere from mild to very serious. Your symptoms may be different depending on the germ you swallowed. The most common symptoms of food poisoning are:
- Upset stomach
- Stomach cramps
After you swallow an unsafe (contaminated) food or drink, it may take hours or days to develop symptoms. If you have symptoms of food poisoning, such as diarrhea or vomiting, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration (not having enough water in your body).
See your doctor or healthcare provider if you have symptoms that are severe, including:
- Bloody diarrhea
- High fever (temperature over 102°F, measured in your mouth)
- Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)
- Signs of dehydration, including little or no urination, a very dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days
Most people have only mild illnesses, lasting a few hours to several days. However, some people need to be hospitalized, and some illnesses cause long-term health problems or even death. Infections spread by food can lead to:
- Chronic arthritis
- Brain and nerve damage
- Kidney failure caused by hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
Some germs make you sick within a few hours after you swallow them. Others may take a few days to make you sick. This list provides the symptoms, when symptoms begin, and common food sources for germs that cause food poisoning. The germs are listed in order of how quickly symptoms begin.
If you think you or someone you know got sick from food, please report it to your local health department. Report it even if you don’t know what food made you sick. Reporting an illness can help public health officials identify a foodborne disease outbreak and keep others from getting sick.