What Are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning? | Stay Healthy & Safe

What Are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning?

Woman In Restaurant With Food Poisoning

When you start studying for a food handlers card in Texas, you learn all about how to make sure you’re serving safe food to your customers. Simple measures can go a long way to making sure you’re reducing the risk of food borne pathogens causing food poisoning.

However, if the worst should happen and something goes wrong during the food service process, it’s helpful if you can know what the symptoms of food poisoning are.


Most Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Everyone’s reaction to a foodborne pathogen can be different. What your case of food poisoning looks like can also depend on the type of food you ate and the pathogen that was in it.

The most common symptoms can look like:

  • An upset stomach
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

It can take several hours or even days for such symptoms to appear, and you may not get all of them. If you are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, the CDC recommends drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.


Should You See a Doctor for Food Poisoning?

There are tens of millions of cases of food poisoning every year, ranging from mild to severe. For mild cases, rest and fluids can be all it takes for you to recover just fine. However, some severe cases of food poisoning may require input from your doctor.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have:

  • Blood in your diarrhea
  • A temperature over 102°F, measured in your mouth
  • Diarrhea that has lasted for more than three days
  • Signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth and throat, little to no urine, and dizziness
  • Frequent vomiting


Are There Long-Term Effects from Food Poisoning?

Some high-risk foods can cause cases of food poisoning so severe that they result in death. Each year, 3,000 people lose their lives to complications from food poisoning.

Therefore, it is not out of the question for food poisoning to have some long-term effects. Many people experience brain and nerve damage, kidney failure, and chronic arthritis. Anyone can be at risk of such long-term effects if they consume food affected by a pathogen.


Can Your Symptoms Determine Which Germ Made You Sick?

Many pathogens share similar symptoms. However, if you are wondering what caused your illness, common food sources and symptoms may shed some light on the answer.

Staphylococcus aureus comes from food that has not been cooked after handling, such as sandwiches, sliced meats, pastries, and pudding. Symptoms can present as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps within 30 minutes to eight hours after eating such foods.

Salmonella can take between six hours and six days to present symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. This germ comes from animals, undercooked or raw chicken, unpasteurized milk or juice, and raw fruits and vegetables.

E.Coli appears within three or four days after exposure to raw or undercooked ground beef, raw vegetables, unsafe water, and unpasteurized milk or juice. Those who have food poisoning caused by E.Coli may experience stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. This can cause life-threatening health problems.

Norovirus takes just hours to present itself as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Typically, norovirus comes from unsafe water, shellfish, fresh fruit, leafy greens, and infected people.

Campylobacter can cause people to suffer from stomach cramps, pain, fever, and bloody diarrhea within two to five days of exposure. It is caused by raw or undercooked poultry, contaminated water, and unpasteurized milk.

Listeria can be an incredibly dangerous form of food poisoning for pregnant women. They may experience flu-like symptoms and fatigue that can eventually lead to severe illness and even the death of their babies.

Other people with listeria, mainly older adults, may experience loss of balance, convulsions, fever, muscle aches, headaches, and a stiff neck. Symptoms are slow to form, taking as long as one to four weeks to be present.

Vibrio is a common form of food poisoning in people who consume raw or undercooked shellfish. Symptoms can start as early as two hours after consuming such food and causes diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramps, chills, and fever.


Be Aware of Food Poisoning Risks With A Food Handlers Certificate

Food poisoning can be incredibly dangerous, which is why it’s so important to know as much about food safety as possible. If you are a food handler in Texas, it’s crucial (and the law) for you to get your food handlers certificate.

TABC Pronto offers a 100% online course to obtain your food handlers permit for just $6.99. Enroll today to learn how to protect your customers from potential cases of food poisoning.