Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling
Most cases of food poisoning will go away in a few days with rest and care at home. The following information will help you recover.
Reference Dehydration Opens New Window is the most frequent complication of food poisoning. Older persons and children should take special precautions to prevent it.
To prevent dehydration, take frequent sips of a rehydration drink (such as Pedialyte). Try to drink a cup of water or rehydration drink for each large, loose stool you have. Sports drinks, soda pop, and fruit juices contain too much sugar and not enough of the important Reference electrolytes Opens New Window that are lost during diarrhea, so they shouldn't be used to rehydrate. You can Reference make your own rehydration drink Opens New Window.
Try to stay with your normal diet as much as possible. Eating your usual diet will help you to get enough nutrition. Doctors believe that eating a normal diet will also help you feel better faster. But try to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Also avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee for 2 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Dehydration in children
Take extra precautions to prevent Reference dehydration in children Opens New Window.
For children who are breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, continue the regular breast milk or formula feeding as much as possible. You may have to feed more often to replace lost fluids. Give an oral rehydration solution (ORS), such as Pedialyte, between feedings only if you see signs of dehydration.
For older children, give ½ cup [4 fl oz (118 mL)] to 1 cup [8 fl oz (237 mL)] of water, milk, or a rehydration drink each hour, and try to keep feeding your child his or her usual diet. Foods to try include potatoes, chicken breast without the skin, cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid foods that have a lot of fat or sugar. Supplement feedings with small sips or spoonfuls of a rehydration drink or clear liquid every few minutes.
For more information on treating diarrhea or dehydration, see:
- Reference Diarrhea, Age 11 and Younger.
- Reference Diarrhea, Age 12 and Older.
- Reference Dehydration.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 18, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease