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 Food Poisoning: Food Poisoning 
American Institute for Preventive Medicine ©

Food Poisoning


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

Questions to Ask

Do you have any of these problems?

  • Botulism symptoms. (See chart above.)
  • Signs of dehydration.
  • You vomit bright red blood or matter that looks like coffee grounds.
  • You have bright red blood in diarrhea.
  • You have a severe headache that persists, a stiff neck, or a convulsion.
  • You are confused.
  • Do you have any of these problems?

  • Severe vomiting. Blood-streaked stools.
  • Fever over 101ºF.
  • 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

  • For chemical food poisoning, call the Poison Control Center (800.222.1222).
  • See Self-Care / Prevention for Vomiting and Nausea; Diarrhea.
  • Heed warnings for food products that could be harmful. News reports list these items. So does the FDA at
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