Self-care treats most cases. Botulism, chemical food poisoning, and severe bacterial food poisoning need immediate care.

Questions to Ask

Food Poisoning

Do you have any of these problems?

  1. Botulism symptoms. (See chart above.)

  2. Signs of dehydration.

  3. You vomit bright red blood or matter that looks like coffee grounds.

  4. You have bright red blood in diarrhea.

  5. You have a severe headache that persists, a stiff neck, or a convulsion.

  6. You are confused.

Do you have any of these problems?

  1. Severe vomiting. Blood-streaked stools.

  2. Fever over 101ºF.

  3. Pain has lasted for several hours or the pain gets worse.

Do you vomit after having only ice chips for 12 hours? Or, do you still have diarrhea after using self-care for 2 days?

Self-Care / Prevention

  1. For chemical food poisoning, call the Poison Control Center (800.222.1222).

  2. See Self-Care / Prevention for Vomiting and Nausea; Diarrhea.

  3. Heed warnings for food products that could be harmful. News reports list these items. So does the FDA at

  1. Digestive & Urinary Problems