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Food poisoning

Food poisoning is rarely serious and usually gets better within a week. You can normally treat yourself or your child at home.

Check if you have food poisoning

Symptoms of food poisoning include:

The symptoms usually start within a few days of eating the food that caused the infection.

Sometimes they start after a few hours or not for a few weeks.

How to treat food poisoning yourself

You can usually treat yourself or your child at home.

The symptoms usually pass within a week.

Diarrhoea and sickness

Stay off school or work until you have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days.

How you get food poisoning

You can catch food poisoning if you eat something that has been contaminated with germs.

This can happen if food:

Any type of food can cause food poisoning. Read tips to avoid food poisoning.

Infections that cause food poisoning

Food poisoning is usually caused by:

  • campylobacter bacteria – the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK
  • salmonella bacteria
  • E. coli bacteria
  • norovirus