Food Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Food Poisoning
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What is food poisoning?

Food Poisoning

According to MedicineNet, Food poisoning is an illness that occurs due to ingesting food which contains poisonous substances. These poisonous substances can be bacteria, viruses, toxins, or pesticides.

What are the symptoms of food poisoning?

Following are the symptoms of food poisoning:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weakness

What are the causes of food poisoning?

Following are the causes of food poisoning:


Bacteria is the most prevalent cause of food poisoning. Most dangerous bacteria causing food poisoning  are E. coliListeriaand Salmonella


Norovirus is responsible for more than 19 million cases of food poisoning every year. Sapovirus and rotavirus are less common but they also show the same symptoms. Hepatitis A virus can be transmitted through food.


Parasites are not a very common cause of food poisoning but still, they are very dangerous. Toxoplasma is seen mostly in cases of food poisoning.


Which foods cause food poisoning?

The following foods mostly cause food poisoning.

  1. Unpasteurized milk
  2. Partially cooked seafood
  3. Homemade salad dressings
  4. Food that has been canned at home
  5. Raw meats
  6. Undercooked fish
  7. Raw cookie dough
  8. Soft cheeses

Who is at risk of food poisoning?

Following groups of people are more at risk of food poisoning:

  1. Pregnant Women
  2. Adults over the age of 50
  3. Children Under 5 Years of Age
  4. HIV/AIDS Patients
  5. Cancer Patients
  6. Diabetes Patients
  7. People having Autoimmune Diseases


How to prevent food poisoning?

We can prevent food poisoning by taking the following measures (NCBI)

  1. By avoiding unpasteurized milk and fruit juices.

  2. By cooking foods thoroughly.

  3. Eat foods as soon as possible after cooking.

  4.  Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water.

  5. Set your refrigerator at 4°C or less.

  6.  Use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables.

  7. Reheat properly if you are having leftovers.

  8. Wash your hands properly before eating anything.

  9. Clean your kitchen every day.

  10. Prevent insects and animals from touching your food.

How to treat food poisoning?

Normal food poising can be treated at home. It can take 3-5 days for proper recovery.

  • Use fruit juices
  • Use Coconut water
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid  dairy products
  • Avoid highly seasoned foods
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Avoid fried foods

What are the home remedies for food poisoning?

 remedies for food poisoning

The following are the home remedies for food poisoning.


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. You can chop up some fresh ginger root and make a ginger tea

to get rid of food poising.

Apple cider vinegar

You can mix a tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and a tbsp of honey. Sip it slowly.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits. It can keep the bacteria in the gut healthy. Many people use apple cider vinegar every day as a preventive measure.


Peppermint fixes nausea and the upset stomach because of the presence of methanol which has anti-allergic properties.  You can brew a cup of peppermint to get rid of food poisoning. You can also sniff peppermint extract or chew the leaves.

Heating pad

A heating pad can offer warmth to your stomach. It will distract you from any pain. Heat also relaxes your muscles and reduces nausea.

What is the medication for food poisoning?

Medication for food poisoning includes  Imodium and Pepto-Bismol.  But it is better to consult with your doctor before using these medications.

Food poisoning vs stomach flu

The stomach flu is caused by a virus. It is also known as viral gastroenteritis. It is incredibly contagious. The symptoms of stomach flu include dull aches and headaches.

Food poisoning occurs after eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or parasites. Complications can be more severe with food poisoning.

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