We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Treat Food Poisoning?

By Tara L. Barnes
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

It's normal to think of food with fondness, hunger and appreciation. It gives us life, sustains our planet and fills our bellies. When food turns against us in the form of food poisoning, however, it is a very unpleasant and even miserable experience. Knowing how to treat food poisoning is a vital first step to feeling better and taking care of your body. If your symptoms are mild and last less than a 24 hours cycle, you may be able successfully treat yourself at home. If you cannot keep any liquids or solid food down for more than 24 hours, you may need to seek medical assistance, mainly consisting of intravenous (IV) rehydration.

There are several sources of food poisoning. One type of food poisoning is caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The bacterium salmonella is probably the most well-known of these food poisoning sources. Salmonella is usually found in undercooked meats and meat products, or foods that are prepared in unsanitary conditions. Another source of food poisoning is toxic food. With toxic food, the food itself — in its natural state — is poisonous to humans. Certain species of mushrooms and fish are poisonous to eat.

Less severe food poisoning symptoms can usually be self-treated. If you are having short episodes of food poisoning in the form of vomiting and diarrhea lasting less than a day, you should be able to treat yourself at home. Drink plenty of fluids, but do not attempt to eat any solid foods if you are still vomiting or feeling nauseous. Avoid any caffeine, alcohol or sugary drinks as these will only dehydrate you further. Seek out fluids like water and other electrolyte-enhanced drinks, such as sports drinks.

In addition to staying hydrated, you should treat food poisoning with lots of rest. For more serious forms of poisoning, you won't have many options — your body will feel weak and you won't want to do much else than lie down. For less severe forms of food poisoning, where you feel like you can still carry out some of your normal routine, it's important to force yourself to rest. No matter the severity of the food poisoning, the body will expend a lot of energy fighting off the poison.

As you begin to feel better, and are able to keep fluids down, you'll be able to slowly introduce solid foods. Plain foods like toast, rice, potatoes and bananas are easily digestible foods to start with. If you are concerned with overcoming your diarrhea, you may safely take an over-the-counter diarrhea medication, as long as you take it according to the manufacturer's directions. Continue to drink lots of clear fluids to keep the body hydrated as you reintroduce solid foods.

Severe food poisoning symptoms, including those that continue unabated for over 24 hours, may require medical attention. Since vomiting and diarrhea quickly dehydrate the body, professional help may be required to properly treat food poisoning. Through the use of an IV, a doctor can ensure that the body maintains the amount of fluids it needs.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon295318 — On Oct 05, 2012

I want to do a food poisoning science project. Any ideas?

By babyksay — On Sep 30, 2010

@plaid - The first thing you should realize is that there are three major steps that will keep your wooden chopping block in tact. Since you can't put a portable chopping block in the dishwasher (and you wouldn't want to anyway because heat drying could make it crack), you should have it sealed right away.

Aside from that there are several things you can do in order to sanitize your board. Among them are: hydrogen peroxide, bleach, vinegar and the hot water and soap method that gameaddicted previously mentioned. I know it's not an in-depth look at things, but it should help you greatly and keep you from having to figure out how to treat food poisoning at home altogether! Good luck!

By gameaddicted — On Sep 30, 2010

@plaid - You should always treat your wood well and never put it in the dishwasher. Caring for wood isn't in my expertise, but a quite jaunt through wiseGEEK says that you should clean it with white vinegar after each use. I would assume that many cleaners have chemicals in them that could worsen the symptoms of food poisoning if the board isn't properly washed. I would say that hot, hot water and a good scrub down would work well, too, but again I'm not an expert.

By plaid — On Sep 30, 2010

@gameaddicted - How would you suggest properly cleaning an unsealed wooden surface such as a large cutting board or a portable chopping block? I normally just scrub it down with some dish soap or spray it with cleaner and wipe it down. Is that sufficient enough?

By gameaddicted — On Sep 30, 2010

It is important to prevent food poisoning by properly cleaning your prep areas. This goes for residential and commercial kitchens, but commercial kitchens are at risk to lose much more. Things like salmonella poisoning on your establishment's record won't go over too well, believe me.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.