A fever generally means your body is fighting an infection, but when that infection is food poisoning, does food poisoning give you a fever?
Food poisoning is a temporary illness caused by eating contaminated food. It can develop within hours or days after consuming meats, poultry, eggs, or shellfish, or by drinking water or beverages contaminated with animal feces, like ice tea or beer.
Food poisoning is a serious issue in the United States today. Statistics show that millions of people become infected each year, and thousands die. Food poisoning is a health issue and a consumer rights issue.
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is an agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that ensures the safety of meat, poultry, and eggs sold in America’s supermarkets and restaurants.
FSIS employs nearly 7,000 people in over 300 offices nationwide to protect public health by enforcing the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and the Wholesome Meat Act of 1967 (see References).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 48 million people get sick every year from food poisoning; 128,000 are hospitalized; 3,000 are permanently disabled, and 5,000 die. The CDC also estimates that foodborne illness costs $5 billion annually (see References).
How Does One Become Infected With Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning can occur from eating contaminated shellfish and other seafood (such as oysters), undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk or juice, perishable foods that have been left out for too long or have not been properly refrigerated.
Food poisoning is normally a self-limiting illness. This means it will go away on its own once your body has fought off the bacteria or virus that caused it.
The timeframe can vary slightly, but most food poisoning symptoms will start to subside in 24 to 72 hours.
Does Food Poisoning Give You a Fever
In most cases, food poisoning will not cause a fever. Food poisoning occurs when bacteria or toxins from bacteria enter the body through the mouth. This can happen when food is improperly prepared, stored, or cooked. Many different microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) can cause food poisoning.
Toxins from these microorganisms can cause mild to severe illness. Some types of food poisoning are caused by chemicals produced by molds on foods.
Food poisoning can be mild or severe but is rarely fatal unless you have a weak immune system. Most people recover independently without medical treatment within one to three days if they don’t continue to eat contaminated food.
However, you must seek medical attention if any of the following symptoms persist:
- fever of 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) or higher
- stomach swelling or tenderness
- blood in your vomit or stool
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea lasting longer than 24 hours after eating contaminated food
- headache and stiff neck (in infants)
- chills and muscle aches
What to Look For When You Have a Fever after Food Poisoning
It’s important to know the signs of a serious illness and take steps if you think you are experiencing one.
Treatment for food poisoning depends on what type you have. For example, if you have salmonella, you should seek medical care and start antibiotic treatment as soon as possible.
If you don’t get treatment for food poisoning and severe, it can lead to death.
In general, people with mild food poisoning recover in one or two days without needing treatment. But it’s important to drink plenty of fluids when you have food poisoning. Dehydration is a common complication of vomiting and diarrhea, so clear liquids like water, broth, and sports drinks are best to rehydrate the body with minimal side effects. Avoid alcohol and caffeine while your stomach is upset. If your symptoms are particularly troublesome, do not hesitate to see a physician or visit your local emergency room.
Final Thoughts about Does Food Poisoning Give You a Fever
Parasites, viruses, and bacteria can have numerous effects on the human body. In some cases, these infections cause mild discomfort, while they can be fatal. Among the most common reasons for food poisoning is the presence of pathogens found naturally in many types of fresh fruits and vegetables that humans consume regularly. The truth about does food poisoning give you a fever is quite interesting.