Food poisoning is a serious and often unexpected illness that affects your digestive tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). It’s a common disease, with 48 million Americans getting a “foodborne illness” each year, according to the CDC.

It’s contracted from “viruses, bacteria, and parasites” that are present in food and drink, the NIDDK says. These harmful foreign contaminants can be caused by improperly preparing or cooking food. According to the NIDDK, most foreign pathogens must be eliminated through cooking.

Don’t ruin your free time: keep your stomach happy on vacation with these travel tips.

How long does food poisoning last?

The effects of food poisoning occur within hours, the NIDDK says, after the contaminated substances are digested, and usually don’t go unnoticed. In rare cases, it can take days for food poisoning symptoms to become apparent, so don’t always expect an immediate response if you’re concerned that you’ve eaten contaminated food.

food poisoning

The NIDDK says the duration of food poisoning can vary, for some just a day or less and others up to a week.

What are food poisoning symptoms?

Symptoms of food poisoning include stomach problems, such as cramps and vomiting, fever, nausea, or diarrhea.

According to the CDC, dangerous food poisoning conditions include more than three days of severe symptoms, such as diarrhea, a high fever of 102, dehydration, or a detrimental effect on vision or speech.

Stay on top of food poisoning prevention: Food Safety: How to Prevent Food Poisoning by Controlling Recalls.

Keep a Vigilant Fridge: What You Need to Know About Leftover Safety?

What to do if you have food poisoning?

The best remedy for food poisoning is rest. Usually, food poisoning will make its way out of your system, and after bad days and nights, your body will recover independently.

Hydration is also vital, the CDC says. Consistent water intake can help keep your body fighting off the germs in peak form. Some people have recommended Gatorade for its electrolyte supply, but the CDC does not recommend it. The CDC also suggests that you should see your health care provider when severe symptoms develop.

Learn about food recall: How did we get today’s food recall system?

The Novel Coronavirus World: The Coronavirus Tests the U.S. Food Safety Net through Tougher Regulation

What diseases resemble food poisoning?

The stomach flu and food poisoning are constantly compared, and while there are significant similarities, the timing sets them apart. According to the CDC, stomach flu symptoms appear between 12 hours and two days after contracting the illness. Food poisoning is generally almost immediate and symptomatic within hours of acquiring it.

The CDC says that the COVID-19 omicron variant has similar symptoms, including vomiting, fever, and nausea. However, Omicron can stay in your body for up to two weeks until symptoms even begin to appear and require a full quarantine to ensure the coronavirus doesn’t continue to spread.

Learn food facts from food fiction: experts dispel foodborne illness myths.


I have been blogging since August 2011. I have had over 10,000 visitors to my blog! My goal is to help people, and I have the knowledge and the passion to do this. I love to travel, dance, and play volleyball. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I started writing my blogs when I lived in California. I would wake up in the middle of the night and write something while listening to music and looking at the ocean. When I moved to Texas, I found a new place to write. I would sit in my backyard while everyone else was at work, and I could write all day.