Food poisoning: how to react?

Have you eaten a "questionable" food and wondering how long after food poisoning can occur? how to treat it or what foods to favor during convalescence? Qare's medical team gives you all the information you need to always better prevent and heal!

How to tell the difference between gastro and food poisoning?

It is easy to confuse gastro and food poisoning, since both have more or less the same symptoms. To differentiate them, it is necessary to look at the temporality: that of the appearance of the disorders, as well as their duration.

Case of food poisoning

If, following a meal, at least two people almost simultaneously show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or nausea, then food poisoning is strongly to be suspected. The duration of food poisoning is quite short: it varies from only a few hours to a maximum of two to three days.

Case of gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis will have more scattered symptoms over time. If they appear more than 24 hours after the “suspicious” meal, then it is very likely that it is gastro. The adverse effects of gastroenteritis are also more persistent than in the case of food poisoning. Finally, the presence of fever should tip the balance more towards gastro rather than food poisoning.
How do you know if you have food poisoning?

Symptoms of food poisoning

Did they seem "shady" to you, these mussels, are you paying the price for your audacity and afraid of having food poisoning? Find out what the symptoms are below:

If your symptoms do not pass, call a GP in teleconsultation!

Good to know: Acute gastroenteritis and collective food poisoning are part of the gastroenteritis syndromes.

When does food poisoning occur?

The incubation time for food poisoning is usually very short. It appears in principle between one hour and a few hours only after ingestion of the offending food.

food poisoning or gastro

What to do in case of food poisoning?

Most of the time, no drug treatment is required to treat food poisoning. The symptoms should disappear on their own within a few hours at best, and not exceeding two to three days. To begin with, we advise you to stay at home so as not to transmit your infection, as it can be contagious.

Alleviate the symptoms

If there is no specific remedy for food poisoning, its inconvenience can however be reduced. Taking a painkiller – taking care with its dosage and following the advice of your doctor – will relieve any headaches or abdominal pains, and curb the fever if you have them. In case of medical approval, you can also use an anti-diarrheal or an anti-emetic.

Food and hydration in case of food poisoning

It is important to drink in case of food poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration that needs to be compensated for. Drink “clear” liquids (water, broth, tea, for example) in small, frequent sips.

As soon as you feel like swallowing something solid again, we recommend that you do so, because your digestive system needs to get back to work to heal faster. You will thus favor light and divided intakes, which you will gradually increase.

What food to eat after food poisoning?

Depending on your tolerance and preferences, here's what we recommend you eat—in small amounts to start with—after food poisoning:

  • lean meat ;
  • cooked fish;
  • White rice ;
  • soupe ;
  • rusk;
  • compote;
  • banana ;
  • potato ;
  • pasta.
Over time, if you feel better, you can diversify your diet and increase the portions. Add vegetables, cooked first, then everything else, always gradually.

Foods and drinks to avoid after food poisoning

Before having regained color, you are however advised against consuming, in particular:

  • sweet foods or drinks (chocolate, confectionery, fruit juice, etc.);
  • spicy or fatty foods;
  • caffeinated drinks (coffee, certain sodas, etc.);
  • alcohol.
Keep in mind that the more processed and complex a dish is, the more energy it will take to digest. So cook your food as simply as possible for now.

Food poisoning: when should you consult?

If you have persistent diarrhea, vomiting and possibly fever, consultation with a doctor is recommended. For food poisoning, we estimate that a duration of more than 24 hours for vomiting and 5 days for episodes of diarrhea, each time without noticeable improvement observed, fully justifies consulting.