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What to do if you get food poisoning

Although food poisoning can feel terrible, the body is usually able to deal with it on its own. Follow these simple steps to speed your way along the path to recovery.

First things first: Accept that you are ill

It’s all too easy to make any illness worse by refusing to accept that we are ill and attempting to plough through our usual daily duties. As with every illness, your body will be able to fight its bout of food poisoning a lot better if it is allowed to rest, so don’t even try to go to work; you’ll only make your illness last longer. Always remember that food poisoning can worsen very rapidly, so if you feel yourself becoming ill, try to get home immediately. Not to put it too delicately, you’ll need to be within the vicinity of a bathroom at all times.

If you have a bad case of food poisoning, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to keep any food down. It’s perfectly OK not to eat for a day or two, but always remember to drink plenty of water, no matter how nauseous you feel. Diarrhoea can cause serious dehydration, so you’ll need to drink even more than usual in order to keep your body at fighting strength. If you are older, or have a long-term condition such as HIV or diabetes, you may need the help of oral rehydration salts, which are powdered sachets designed to be added to water which contain all the electrolytes the body needs. You may also develop painful heartburn, so keep Gaviscon, Tums, or Rennies at hand.

Once you do feel strong enough to eat something, eat something simple and easily-digestible, such as toast. As you recover, probiotic drinks may help to restore your healthy intestinal flora. If you don’t feel any better after a few days, or are passing blood, then go and see your G.P. straight away.

Food poisoning from a restaurant

If you believe you have developed food poisoning after eating at a restaurant, entertainment venue, or other public place, you may be eligible to claim for personal injury compensation. Any place that serves food to the public has a duty of public care, and there is no reason you should ever have to suffer through someone else’s negligence or lack of hygiene. Contact Accident Advice Helpline to find out more about making a no win no fee claim, and about how much compensation you could be entitled to.