Have I got Food Poisoning?

Diarrhoea, as well as vomiting and painful abdominal cramping can be a symptom of food poisoning. Symptoms generally start within 2 to 6 hours after eating the offending food and can be caused by bacteria, viruses or toxins in food.

Foods that are most often responsible for Food Poisoning include:

  • Raw or undercooked meat and poultry
  • Raw or lightly cooked eggs
  • Unpasteurized (raw) milk
  • Raw shellfish

Even unlikely foods can be the source of food poisoning due to cross-contamination. This can occur even at home in the kitchen, where uncontaminated foods become infected through, for example, contact with infected raw meat.

Is it Gastro or Food Poisoning?

Gastro or ‘gastroenteritis’ isn’t always caused by eating contaminated food. It can be caused by a viral infection. Symptoms may be similar and include diarrhoea, but whereas food poisoning symptoms usually begin 2 to 6 hours after eating contaminated food, with viral gastroenteritis, symptoms generally start 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus.

Food Poisoning treatment

It’s important to rehydrate with water if you have diarrhoea. Try sucking ice chips, or replace lost fluids and electrolytes with an oral rehydration solution from your pharmacy. As you feel better you can start to eat and return to your normal diet and routine when ready.

If you are concerned that your symptoms are severe and are not improving, then seek medical attention.