Knowing when you have food poisoning

What you eat can sometimes make you sick if it is processed, handled or prepared improperly. Food poisoning cases spike during the hot summer months, as food spoils more quickly if it’s left out. Plus, attending cookouts and family get-togethers lets you sample other people’s cooking—and they might not adhere to the same food safety standards as you. It is possible for foodborne illnesses to become serious or even deadly. Know the signs of common illnesses and let the Emergency Room team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center help you feel better quickly.

How quickly food poisoning symptoms develop
In most cases, the symptoms of food poisoning develop rapidly. The most common foodborne illness, norovirus, causes symptoms within 12 to 48 hours of infection.

Salmonella isn’t quite as common as norovirus, but it results in more hospitalizations. This illness can cause symptoms within six to 48 hours after the consumption of a contaminated food or beverage.

Which symptoms can occur with food poisoning
The symptoms of food poisoning vary, depending on the specific illness. In general, they involved gastrointestinal distress. These symptoms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Muscle aches and pains

When to seek emergency care for food poisoning
Mild symptoms of food poisoning generally don’t require a trip to the ER. Patients should stay hydrated and rest while waiting for the illness to resolve.

Serious symptoms of food poisoning do require emergency care. Occasionally, medical treatments like antibiotics or antitoxins can be administered, but usually ER doctors simply provide supportive care to prevent further complications.

The following symptoms warrant a doctor’s attention:

  • Inability to keep liquids down/frequent vomiting
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Severe abdominal cramping or pain
  • Dehydration

Superior care you can count on is available around the clock at the Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center . Families in Thousand Oaks can direct general questions to a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746. Please call 911 without delay for serious medical emergencies.

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