Symptoms and Signs of Food Poisoning
Signs and symptoms of food poisoning may include one or more of the following:
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal cramps
- Weakness that may lead to respiratory arrest as in the case of botulism
Symptoms may appear within 2 hours of eating the contaminated food or they may begin days later. Generally, the sickness lasts from 1 to 10 days.
The source, time of onset of symptoms, symptoms and the associated foods are tabulated below:
|Pathogen||Time between eating and onset of symptoms||Symptoms||Associated foods*|
|Bacillus cereus toxin (vomiting)||1 - 6 hours||Sudden onset of severe nausea and vomiting||Improperly refrigerated cooked rice|
|Bacillus cereus toxin (diarrhea)||6 - 24 hours||Abdominal cramps, nausea and watery diarrhea||Meats, stews, gravy, vanilla sauce|
|Campylobacter||2 - 5 days||Fever, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea (sometimes bloody)||Raw and undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk and contaminated water|
|Clostridium perfringens toxin||6 - 24 hours||Abdominal cramps, watery diarrhea and nausea||Meats, poultry, gravy, dried or precooked foods|
|Escherichia coli (STEC)||2 - 10 days more commonly 3 - 4 days||Diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal cramps||Improperly cooked beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, sprouts and contaminated water|
|Hepatitis A||2 - 7 weeks||Jaundice, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea||Raw or poorly cooked seafood harvested from contaminated waters, ready-to-eat foods handled by an infected food handler|
|Listeria monocytogenes||3 days - 10 weeks||Meningitis, sepsis, fever||Soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, ready-to-eat deli meats|
|Norovirus||24 - 48 hours||Fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and headache||Poorly cooked shellfish, ready-to-eat foods touched by an infected worker|
|Salmonella||6 – 72 hours,usually 12-36 hours||Headache, fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea||Undercooked poultry, raw egg deserts and mayonnaise, sprouts, tahini|
|Staphylococcus aureus toxin||30 min – 8 hours||Sudden onset of vomiting and abdominal cramps||Cream deserts and pastries, potato salad|
|Vibrio parahaemolyticus||4–30 hours, usually 12-24 hours||Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea||Undercooked or raw seafood.|
It is necessary to seek medical attention in case of the following symptoms:
- Frequent episodes of vomiting or vomiting blood
- Severe abdominal cramps
- Fever higher than 101.5 degrees F (38.6 degrees C)
- Excessive thirst or dry mouth, little or no urination, dizziness and severe weakness
- Severe diarrhea for more than 3 days
- Trouble swallowing or difficulty speaking
- Double vision
- Listeria monocytogenes: biofilm formation and persistence in food-processing environments - (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=245609)
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Mita Majumdar. (2022, February 05). Symptoms and Signs of Food Poisoning. Medindia. Retrieved on May 24, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/fact-sheet-on-food-poisoning-symptoms-and-signs.htm.
Mita Majumdar. "Symptoms and Signs of Food Poisoning". Medindia. May 24, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/fact-sheet-on-food-poisoning-symptoms-and-signs.htm>.
Mita Majumdar. "Symptoms and Signs of Food Poisoning". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/fact-sheet-on-food-poisoning-symptoms-and-signs.htm. (accessed May 24, 2022).
Mita Majumdar. 2021. Symptoms and Signs of Food Poisoning. Medindia, viewed May 24, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/fact-sheet-on-food-poisoning-symptoms-and-signs.htm.
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