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How long does food poisoning last?

How long does food poisoning last?

, by saikat dutta, 2 min reading time

How long does food poisoning last? The duration of food poisoning varies greatly depending on the type of bacteria or toxin involved, the amount ingested, and the individual's health. Here's a general breakdown:

Typical Duration:

  • Most cases: 12 to 24 hours, with symptoms resolving within 1-3 days.
  • Severe cases: May last several days or even weeks, especially if the person is dehydrated or requires hospitalization.

Specific Types of Food Poisoning:

How long does food poisoning last?

  • Norovirus (stomach flu): Symptoms usually last 1-3 days.
  • Salmonella: Symptoms can last 4-7 days.
  • E. coli (O157:H7): Symptoms can last 5-10 days.
  • Staphylococcus aureus: Symptoms typically last 1-6 hours.
  • Clostridium perfringens: Symptoms usually last 6-15 hours.
  • Botulism: Symptoms can last for several weeks or even months.


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

When to Seek Medical Attention:

  • Severe or persistent symptoms: If you experience severe or persistent vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or dehydration, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Blood in stool or vomit: Seek immediate medical attention if you notice blood in your stool or vomit.
  • Confusion or disorientation: Seek immediate medical attention if you experience confusion or disorientation.
  • Weakness or paralysis: Seek immediate medical attention if you experience muscle weakness or paralysis.
  • Young children, pregnant women, or the elderly: These individuals are at higher risk for complications from food poisoning and should seek medical attention sooner.

Preventing Food Poisoning:

  • Proper food handling: Wash hands thoroughly, cook food to safe temperatures, and refrigerate perishable foods promptly.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked foods: Be cautious with raw meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables: Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Stay hydrated to prevent dehydration.

How long does food poisoning last? It's important to remember that food poisoning is a serious illness that can lead to complications, especially in young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical attention promptly.


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