How Long Does Food Poisoning Last?

November 1, 2023

Food poisoning is a condition that can bring unpleasant symptoms. Understanding why it happens, how to prevent it, and what to do if you have it can all help expedite your recovery. Read this article to find out everything you need to know about food poisoning.

Causes & Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is caused by consuming food that is contaminated by a virus or bacteria. This contamination can happen in a variety of different ways, such as improper storage, cross-contamination, being undercooked, and improper hygiene by the person preparing the food. Food poisoning is completely preventable if food is handled correctly. However, this is difficult to keep track of whether your food may be contaminated if you are not the one preparing the food, such as at a restaurant.  

Common symptoms of food poisoning:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Body Aches
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Chills

Does Food Poisoning Go Away on Its Own?

The symptoms of food poisoning can be crippling while they last. However, most of the time food poisoning resolves on its own within a week of symptoms starting and does not require medical treatment. Food poisoning can be dangerous due to the dehydration that it causes. This is especially true for young children and the elderly, who may require medical support in the form of IV fluids.

The best step you can take to ensure you recover quickly from food poisoning is to stay hydrated. Water is essential for your body to function properly and fight off the virus. In order to stay hydrated, you should drink electrolytes and plenty of water. Try to eat plain foods so that you don’t upset your stomach further, and avoid carbonated drinks. Food poisoning rarely requires medical attention, but if you experience severe symptoms such as high fever or worry that you are suffering from severe dehydration, you should seek medical attention.

Preventing Food Poisoning

Although it causes unpleasant symptoms, food poisoning is completely preventable in most cases. This is because the food will not be contaminated if a few simple rules are followed while preparing and storing food. Here are some tips for proper food handling to ensure you avoid getting food poisoning:

  • Store all meats in the fridge or freezer when you are not using it
  • Use a meat thermometer when cooking meats to ensure you are cooking them completely to the appropriate internal temperature
  • Use separate kitchen utensils such as cutting boards, knives, and spoons for raw meat
  • Sanitize your kitchen regularly, including before and after food preparation
  • Wash your hands regularly while cooking

Proper food handling methods are not complicated, but they are essential to understand and follow to ensure you stay healthy. When food is not properly handled, bacteria can grow which will cause food poisoning.  

Get Walk-In Illness Care at AFC Urgent Care Waltham

Luckily, if you think you have food poisoning, you likely will not require medical care. However, if you have severe symptoms or are concerned about dehydration, AFC Urgent Care Waltham is here to help. Our medical providers are board-certified and able to treat a variety of symptoms so that you can get back to feeling your best. We never require an appointment to receive medical care, simply walk into our clinic.

If you or a loved one are experiencing illness symptoms, don’t hesitate to get the help that you need. AFC Urgent Care Waltham is open 7 days a week with extended business hours to provide you with fast and reliable medical care. Just walk into our clinic. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer low-cost care. If you have questions about our clinic, call us to speak with a team member directly. 

Blog Categories


No blog categories


Recent Blogs

About Our Services:

Call (781) 894-6900 for more information about our Waltham urgent care services.