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How Long Does Food Poisoning Last & What To Do About It?

Depending on the type of food poisoning you have, symptoms of the illness can persist for as short a time as 24 hours or as long as a week. Food poisoning may last longer in children, the elderly, and in people who have a weakened immune system.
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If you or another person you know suffered from food poisoning, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and a personal injury lawyer can help. Please fill out the legal contact form with your name/phone for a free confidential evaluation or call our attorneys toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

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How Long Does it Take for Food Poisoning to Get Out of Your System?

How long food poisoning lasts depends on which microorganism infected you. Here are some timeframes for common causes of food poisoning:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (Staph): Symptoms begin within 30 minutes to 8 hours after exposure and usually last no longer than one day.
  • Salmonella: Symptoms begin 6 hours to 6 days after exposure and last 4-7 days.
  • Norovirus: Symptoms begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure and last 1-2 days.
  • E. Coli: Symptoms begin 3-4 days after exposure and last 5-10 days.
  • Listeria: Symptoms begin within 2 weeks after exposure and last 1-3 days.

How Can You Tell Whether it's a Stomach Bug or Food Poisoning?

The key distinction between a stomach bug and food poisoning is time: The symptoms of a stomach bug will take 12 to 48 hours to develop, while the symptoms of food poisoning typically develop much faster, usually within 6 hours of consuming tainted food or beverage.

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Can You Catch Food Poisoning From Someone Else?

Most types of food poisoning are not contagious. However, there are a few types of foodborne illnesses that can be passed from person to person, or even from animal to person. Many foodborne illnesses also share similar symptoms with bacterial or viral infections that can be very contagious.

What is the Fastest Way to Resolve Food Poisoning?

  1. Rest as much as possible.
  2. Eat when you feel up to it – start with small, light and non-fatty meals (i.e. bland foods such as toast, crackers, rice and bananas)
  3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, fizzy drinks and spicy and fatty foods, as they are likely to make you feel worse.

Are There Medicines to Help Treat Food Poisoning?

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications may stop the symptoms of food poisoning. Pepto-Bismol (Bismuth subsalicylate) can help treat nausea and diarrhea, while Imodium (Loperamide) is an antidiarrheal that stops diarrhea by slowing down the digestive process.

When Should You See a Doctor for Food Poisoning?

Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you have symptoms that are severe, including:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • High fever (temperature over 102°F)
  • Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)

Related Article: When to See a Doctor for Food Poisoning

Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Attorneys

The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced group of trial attorneys that focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in food poisoning cases. We are handling individual personal injury cases nationwide and currently offering a free consultation to potential clients in cases in all 50 states.

If you or someone you know has experienced symptoms of food poisoning, please contact our lawyers immediately for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and our experienced attorneys can help. Phone a lawyer toll-free at (866) 588-0600 or fill out the contact form below to get your free legal advice from a food safety attorney.

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