Food poisoning often improves on its own within 48 hours. To help keep yourself more comfortable and prevent dehydration while you recover, try the following:
Jun. 16, 2011
- Let your stomach settle. Stop eating and drinking for a few hours.
- Try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water. You might also try drinking clear soda, such as 7UP or Sprite; clear broths; or noncaffeinated sports drinks, such as Gatorade. Affected adults should try to drink at least eight to 16 glasses of liquid every day, taking small, frequent sips. You'll know that you're getting enough fluid when you're urinating normally, and your urine is clear and not dark.
- Ease back into eating. Gradually begin to eat bland, easy-to-digest foods, such as soda crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas and rice. Stop eating if your nausea returns.
- Avoid certain foods and substances until you're feeling better. These include dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods.
- Get plenty of rest. The illness and dehydration may have made you weak and tired.
- Don't use anti-diarrheal medications. Drugs intended to treat diarrhea, such as loperamide (Imodium, others) and diphenoxylate with atropine (Lomotil, Lonox), may slow elimination of bacteria or toxins from your system and can make your condition worse.
- Foodborne infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/foodborne_infections/. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Diagnosis and management of foodborne illnesses: A primer for physicians and other health care professionals. MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2004;53:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5304a1.htm. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Bacteria and foodborne illness. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/Bacteria_Foodborne.pdf. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Pigott DC. Foodborne illness. Emergency Medical Clinics of North America. 2008;26:475.
- Newell DG, et al. Food-borne diseases — The challenges of 20 years ago still persist while new ones continue to emerge. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 2010;139:S3.
- Listeriosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/listeriosis_gi.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Fight BAC. Partnership for Food Safety Education. http://www.fightbac.org/storage/documents/flyers/fightbac_color_brochure.pdf. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Minimum cooking temperatures. FoodSafety.gov. http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.