Certain bacteria cause this kind of food poisoning. They grow in a many places such as water, raw meat, seafood, and eggs. Infection comes from eating or drinking contaminated products. Once in the body, the germs go to the bowels where they grow and start to cause problems.
Some reptiles, such as turtles or iguanas, can also pass it to you.
Your risk is higher if you:
- Eat raw or poorly cooked meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or seafood
- Eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products
- Drink unclean water
- Work with reptiles
- Have low levels of stomach acid
- Take stomach acid reducers
- Have weak immunity from illness or medicines
The infection may cause:
- Belly cramps
The doctor will ask about your symptoms, and health and travel history. They will ask you about any food you ate or any animals you touched. The doctor may think you have food poisoning from your answers and a physical exam. If needed, blood or stool tests will confirm a diagnosis.
The infection goes away on its own in 2-5 days. Other care may involve:
- Rehydration—may be given through an IV or taken by mouth
- Medicines to lower fever and ease pain
- Antibiotics—in certain cases such as a blood infection
To lower your chances of food poisoning:
- Wash your hands often.
- Wash cutting boards and kitchen tools with hot soapy water before and after handling raw foods.
- Use a different cutting board for raw meats.
- Don’t eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products.
- Cook foods as advised. Consider using a thermometer.
- Place foods in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
- Wash your hands after handling reptiles.
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 05/2018 -
- Update Date: 05/23/2018 -