What Are Symptoms Of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning occurs more often during the summer months, since many families head out on camping trips and fail to prepare for the extreme temperatures. Many will run out of fresh water and ice to store their foods, which makes them at a higher risk of food poisoning.

What is Food Poisoning

Since food poisoning is classified as a foodborne illness, many victims will find themselves staving off the symptoms at some point in their life. One in six Americans will become sick due to this illness and in 2011 alone, over 3,000 victims died from foodborne illnesses(CDC).

What Causes Food Poisoning

There are over 250 organisms are linked to food poisoning, but the E. Coli is the most common bacteria that is linked to this condition. Other factors include:

  • Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter (animal bacterial that can be consumed through meat that is undercooked or contaminated water)
  • Unsafe food preparation
  • Improper hand washing techniques
  • Dairy products
  • Coleslaw, potato salad, or macaroni salads that contains mayonnaise
  • Foods stored at improper temperatures
  • Raw oysters, fish, fruits, and veggies that were not washed well
  • Unpasteurized dairy products and fruit juices
  • Contaminated water sources
  • Fish toxins released in spoiled shellfish or fish
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Salmonella
  • Cholera
  • Shigella

Who is at Risk of Food Poisoning

Small children and elderly adults are at a higher risk. Individuals that have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, AIDS, renal diseases, and HIV are unable to fight off the bacteria and are at a higher risk of death.

Signs of Food Poisoning

Onset symptoms of food poisoning will begin to appear around 2-6 hours post eating contaminated foods.

  • Hematochezia (bloody stool)
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever with chills
  • Dehydration signs

Diagnosis of Food Poisoning

Emergency room physicians may request to test the food that you consumed, before you became ill. A stool culture may also be ordered to check for presence of salmonella and e-coli. A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy may also be prescribed, if the fecal occult blood test was positive.


  • Wash hands with antibacterial soaps, while you are recanting your ABCs
  • Avoid eating food that has been stored in the refrigerator more than 48 hours
  • Do not drink from ponds or streams
  • Follow restrictions on date posted on foods
  • Wash fruits, veggies, and fish thoroughly
  • Cook meat thoroughly


  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Rehydration with adequate fluids or IV fluids in severe cases
  • Rest
  • Homemade electrolyte drink: 1/2 teaspoon table salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 4 tablespoon sugar mixed into 1 liter of water (avoid giving to children)
  • Antiemetic (medications for vomiting)
  • Antibiotics should be administered per the blood culture and sensitivity test results (Cipro, Noroxin, Rifaximin, Doxycycline)

If you are camping for several days this summer, be sure to know the warning signs and what are the symptoms of food poisoning.