Food poisoning

Food poisoning is usually caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated with bacteria or viruses. Some food poisoning is caused by poisons (toxins) from bacteria already in the food.

Symptoms usually develop rapidly, possibly within 2 to 6 hours of eating the affected food, or they may not occur until a day or so after eating contaminated food.

One of the dangers of food poisoning is loss of body fluids. The dehydration that results from this fluid loss can be serious if the fluids are not replaced quickly enough. Dehydration is especially serious in the very young and the very old, and, in some cases, treatment may be required in hospital.



Nausea and vomiting

Cramping abdominal pains

Diarrhea (possibly bloodstained)

Headache or fever

Features of shock

Impaired consciousness



1 Advise the person to lie down and rest. Help them if necessary.

2 Give the person plenty of bland fluids to drink and a bowl to use if they vomit.

3 Seek medical help if necessary.

4 If the person’s condition worsens, CALL 9-1-1 to activate the EMS.


Source: HSA


Disclaimer: The Emergency Guide is provided as a reference only.  Every effort has been taken to acquire and publish accurate information provided by medical authorities.  In case of emergency, always call or have someone CALL 9-1-1.