brand logo

Food Poisoning

Is it food poisoning or a stomach bug? At WellNow Urgent Care we can get 
you feeling better faster.

Start a virtual visitSchedule a visit

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is an illness that causes irritation of your digestive system. When your food or beverage is contaminated with a virus, bacteria, toxin, or parasite, you’re at risk of food poisoning.


When consumed, these food contaminants can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal tract. This can result in a range of uncomfortable symptoms. However, food poisoning generally passes quickly, and there are treatments to help you through it.


Food Poisoning Symptoms

The symptoms of food poisoning can vary depending on the specific cause of the illness. The onset of symptoms can start within 30 minutes to two weeks of eating contaminated food.


WellNow’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Biernbaum, says,

"If you find yourself here due to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, you may be experiencing food poisoning."

Common food poisoning symptoms include:


  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea, with or without bloody stools

  • Stomach pain and cramps

  • Fever

  • Headache


The range and severity of your symptoms can differ based on which virus or bacteria was involved. Rarely, food poisoning affects the nervous system and causes severe disease.


Symptoms of severe food poisoning may include:



  • Blurred or double vision

  • Headache

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Loss of movement in limbs

  • Skin tingling or numbness

  • Weakness

When to visit your Doctor or WellNow Urgent Care?

Seeking timely medical attention is important for proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some signs to watch for if you’re concerned about food poisoning.




Infants and Children

Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly cause dehydration, which is a low level of body fluids. For infants and children, this is a serious condition. Call your child's pediatrician or consult with a WellNow medical provider if your child's symptoms are concerning, or if your child’s vomiting and diarrhea occur with any of the following:



  • Neurological changes

  • Excessive thirst

  • Little or no urination

  • Diarrhea that lasts more than a day

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Dark stools

  • Severe stomach pain

  • Any fever in children under 2 years of age

  • Fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in older children


Adults

Adults should see their primary care physician or visit a WellNow Urgent Care Center for the following symptoms:



  • Neurological symptoms

  • Fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Diarrhea that lasts more than three days

  • Symptoms of dehydration, such as excessive thirst, dry mouth, or little to no urination.

Food Poisoning FAQs

To treat food poisoning, start by drinking plenty of fluids. Include beverages that aid in
replenishing the loss of salts and electrolytes from your body. This can include clear broths or
products like Pedialyte and Gatorade.


Once your stomach has settled, you can try eating foods that are gentle on your digestive system.


Plain toast, saltine crackers, bananas, and plain rice are a few suggestions.


Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine.


Antibiotics or prescription medications can help with food poisoning, if advised by your medical provider.

Food poisoning is most often caused by a virus, bacteria, parasite, or toxin. These germs enter your digestive system when you eat contaminated food or beverages. Improper food handling is a major cause of food poisoning.


The most common sources of food poisoning are shown below:


Contaminant

Type

Common Sources


Listeria

Bacteria

Unwashed produce


E. coli

Bacteria

Raw or undercooked meat, Unwashed produce



Campylobacter


Bacteria

Undercooking

Salmonella

Bacteria

Undercooking


Staphylococcus

Bacteria

Unrefrigerated food


Shigella

Bacteria

Untreated water, Foods contaminated by an infected person


Ciguatera


Toxin (produced by algae)


Contaminated reef fish

Botulism


Toxin (produced by a bacteria)

Damaged canned goods

Food poisoning usually comes on quickly. Fortunately, it passes fairly quickly as well. Most people recover from food poisoning within 24-48 hours.

For more information and tips on how to avoid food poisoning, visit FoodSafety.gov

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, seek the expertise of a
medical provider. Feel free to walk in to a WellNow Urgent Care Center near you. To save
yourself even more time, reserve an appointment online.


"Our dedicated medical team, under my guidance, is here to provide prompt and efficient care to help alleviate your symptoms and restore your health." ----Dr. Robert Biernbaum.


Our experienced healthcare team is committed to delivering prompt and professional care. With over 180 urgent care locations, we're confident a convenient clinic is nearby. Your well-being is our priority, and we look forward to providing you the care you deserve.

The WellNow logo on a blue background.

Where to get treatment for food poisoning?

If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, seek the expertise of a medical provider. Feel free to walk in to a WellNow Urgent Care Center near you. To save yourself even more time, reserve an appointment online.


"Our dedicated medical team, under my guidance, is here to provide prompt and efficient care to help alleviate your symptoms and restore your health."

Dr. Robert Biernbaum.


Our experienced healthcare team is committed to delivering prompt and professional care. With over 180 urgent care locations, we're confident a convenient clinic is nearby. Your well-being is our priority, and we look forward to providing you the care you deserve.


This medical information has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Birenbaum, Chief Medical Officer for WellNow Urgent Care.


Find a locationVirtual care

Illnesses we treat

Helping you when you or a family member is sick.

Our services are designed to treat an array of common illnesses, infections, and diseases. 

We offer exceptional care on your schedule.

A - E

Abscesses
Allergies
Asthma attacks
Bronchitis
Colds and flu
Coughs
Covid
Dehydration
Diarrhea
Ear infections and earaches

F - R

Fever
Flu
Food Poisoning
Migraines and Headaches
Mononucleosis (Mono)
Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea
Upper Respiratory Infection
Pink Eye
Pneumonia
Rashes
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

S - Z

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Shingles
Sinus Infections
Sore Throat and Strep Throat
Tooth Pain
Urinary Tract and Bladder Infections
Vaginal Yeast Infections