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Health Tip: Eaten Bad Food?

Signs and symptoms of food poisoning

(HealthDay News) -- Food poisoning often occurs after eating a meal in a large, social setting like a picnic, cookout or cafeteria. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, foods in these settings are often prepared early and can be left unrefrigerated for long periods, allowing bacteria to form on the food.

Food poisoning symptoms typically begin within two to six hours after eating contaminated food. Signs of food poisoning are most often vomiting, fever, chills, headache, bloody diarrhea, weakness, and severe abdominal cramps.

Treatment from a doctor is rarely necessary, unless dehydration occurs, says the NLM. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, but avoid milk or drinks with caffeine. You should also avoid solid foods while severely nauseated. Antibiotics usually aren't needed.

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