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Food Poisoning

Medium Risk

Also known as:

contaminated food contaminated water foodborne illness spoiled food stomach virus

Possible Symptoms
  • upset stomach
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea with or without fever
What to Do
  1. Sip on small amounts of fluid that contain sugar such as popsicles, or an electrolyte replacing drink such as Pedialyte®.
  2. Avoid taking any medication to stop diarrhea.
  3. Get plenty of rest.
  4. Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions.

Important

Most cases of food poisoning resolve within 24 hours. Call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect you have food poisoning for treatment advice.

Seek additional medical attention if:

  • Someone is vomiting and not able to keep any fluids down for more than 12-24 hours for a child or more than 24-36 hours for an adult
  • There is blood present in the stool or vomit, severe abdominal cramping, or a fever of greater than 102°F for a child and greater than 104°F for an adult

Additional Information

Food poisonings are actually preventable! It just takes a bit more time and effort to keep your family safe. Check out FoodSafety.gov for safety tips.

The following information describes basic food poisoning symptoms.  It is IMPORTANT to call the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect you have food poisoning, every case needs individual attention.

Most cases of food poisoning involve symptoms that resolve within 12-24 hours. Stay hydrated as best you can by sipping small amounts of fluid that contain sugar or electrolytes, such as popsicles and oral rehydration fluids (Pedialyte). Another option is the syrup that comes with canned fruit. In this case, choosing fruit packed in heavy syrup is the best option. Just a spoonful of a sugary fluid taken every 10-15 minutes can help keep you hydrated and your blood sugar normal.

Avoid taking any medication to stop diarrhea. Frequent stools help the body get rid of the virus or bacteria that is causing the food poisoning. Anti-diarrheal medications decrease the elimination of whatever caused the problem.

IMPORTANT: If your child has not been able to keep anything down for more than 12-24 hours (or 24-36 hours for an adult), it is time to seek medical attention.  Additionally, if there is ever blood present in stools or in vomit, severe abdominal cramping, or a  fever of > 102° F for children or > 104° F for adults, medical attention is needed.

Take The Missouri Poison Center With You

Emergencies don’t wait for you, so you shouldn’t have to wait to call for help. Get the Missouri Poison Center app with poison information and a link to the Poison Help Line. It is just a click away during the most stressful moments. Our registered nurses and pharmacists are here 24/7/365 days a year to help guide you through poison exposures and overdose emergencies.

Don’t wait. Download now.

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