The 10 most common symptoms of food poisoning

Food poisoning is a set of symptoms that occur following a person’s consumption of bacteria, viruses, parasites, bacterial toxins, or chemicals.

Food poisoning can result from contamination of food before, during or after preparation. Poisoning can occur when hygiene measures are not followed (for example, the person preparing the food is sick), the food is insufficiently washed, improperly cooked or stored.

Certain foods are more susceptible to contamination. Particular attention should be paid to raw or undercooked foods (poultry, meat and eggs), raw fruits and vegetables (washed or unwashed with contaminated water), unpasteurized dairy products, foods left unrefrigerated for a long time, and fish.

The smell and appearance of the food does not change many times, even if it is contaminated, so care should be taken. Particular attention should be paid to foods prepared in hot weather. Some foods are more sensitive to heat and should not be eaten or drunk if they have been exposed to heat for too long. The higher the temperature, the faster the bacteria multiply.


Food poisoning mostly manifests itself with digestive disorders that occur 24 to 48 hours after consuming the food in question. Here are the 10 most common symptoms of food poisoning.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain usually occurs 24 hours after eating the poisoning food. The pains are severe and medications do not relieve the pain.


Vomiting is the body’s defense mechanism to drain the food that causes poisoning. They appear 24 or even 48 hours after poisoning. It should not be taken lightly and should definitely be referred to a hospital.


Diarrhea indicates the presence of a pathogen in the gut. In case of poisoning, it can occur very rapidly and disappear after the poisoning has passed.


In case of food poisoning, the body has to deal with a virus or bacteria. Therefore, great fatigue can be felt as the body mobilizes all its strength to fight. Fatigue usually lasts for several days after poisoning.


Fever is a symptom due to the presence of a pathogenic microorganism such as bacteria, allergens, parasites or viruses in the body. When these enter the body, the immune system is triggered and the body temperature rises.


Headaches may occur in case of poisoning that causes diarrhea and thirst. Intoxication can sometimes affect the central border system and cause language difficulties, visual disturbances, or breathing difficulties. Some bacteria, such as campylobacter, can even cause meningitis.


Shivering can occur in many infectious diseases, but it is common in some poisonings, especially food poisoning.

Blood in Stool

One of the main symptoms that distinguishes easy digestion issues from food poisoning is the presence of blood in the stool. This symptom is often accompanied by high fever. You should definitely go to a hospital.


In the most important cases of poisoning, confusion, dizziness and even weakness leading to loss of consciousness can be observed. Get help quickly.

Changes in Heart Rhythm

Tachycardia (fast heart rate) or, on the contrary, bradycardia (slow heart rate) may be indicative of food poisoning. Cold sweats and paleness are often associated with changes in heart rate and general malaise. In this case, it is necessary to apply to the hospital.


Food poisoning is usually not significant. More than one person dodges at home and clears up on its own without medication. However, in some cases, a doctor should be consulted.

You should definitely see a doctor if:

– If you have diarrhea lasting more than 5 days

– If you have diarrhea and fever (over 38°C),

– If you have been vomiting for more than 24 hours without improvement

– If there is blood in your stool or if your stool is black,

– If you have diarrhea with severe abdominal pain,

– Diarrhea, severe thirst, If you are unable to urinate for more than 12 hours,

– If you have blood in your vomit (red or coffee grounds appearance),

– If you always feel sleepy, limited and confused.


Here are some basic tips you can apply to avoid food poisoning:

– Wash your hands regularly when handling food, before and after going to the toilet and before eating.

– Clean fruit and vegetables well before preparing or eating them.

– Avoid eating certain foods raw (eggs, poultry and meat) or unpasteurized (eg cheese made from raw milk).

– When cooking, use different cutting boards for vegetables and meat.

– Store raw meat differently from other foods.

– Cook meats properly.

– Refrigerate any items that can quickly become dangerous, such as mayonnaise, raw meat or milk.

– Clean and dry cutting boards properly after each use.

– Do not reuse utensils or dishes that have touched raw meat (avoid cross-contamination).

– Wash the kitchen counter with soapy water after preparing food on it.

– Always keep your food at real temperature. (refrigerator 4°C or less, freezer -18°C or less).

– Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator until ready to cook.