Food poisoning is an extremely common condition that affects one-in-six Americans annually. If you have been spared food poisoning this past year, consider yourself lucky.
But the good news is that the disease doesn’t last long and is typically self-limiting.
So, how long does food poisoning last? What causes it and what symptoms can you expect? Continue reading for these answers and to learn how you can manage food poisoning should you encounter it.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
If you are suffering from food poisoning, the likely culprit is bacterial, viral, or parasitic. However, of the 250 identified causes of food poisoning, bacteria are the most common.
Several primary sources of food poisoning include:
- Norovirus (virus commonly found in shellfish and raw produce)
- E. coli (bacteria commonly found in unpasteurized juice and milk, contaminated water, undercooked beef, and raw veggies)
- Listeria (bacteria commonly found in raw produce, poultry, processed meat, and unpasteurized dairy products
- Salmonella (bacteria commonly found raw vegetables and fruit, poultry, unpasteurized dairy products, eggs, and undercooked and raw meat)
What Are Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning?
Depending on the cause, the onset of food poisoning symptoms can range from one hour to 28 days. They often include: Headache, weakness, cramps, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, mild fever, and diarrhea.
In more severe instances, patients can present with: Fever of 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, blood in urine, diarrhea for three days or more, and severe dehydration.
How Long Does Food Poisoning Last?
The duration of food poisoning is typically dictated by its origin. Fortunately, most cases resolve on their own in one-to-two days, with plenty of rest and hydration.
As you recover from food poisoning, you can attempt to eat bland, non-irritating foods such as bananas, rice, toast, crackers, and cereal.