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Food Poisoning and Diarrhea: What you need to know

Can Food Poisoning Cause Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of food poisoning.  It may begin within hours or take days—sometimes weeks—to appear after eating contaminated food. Complications of diarrhea include dehydration, electrolyte (mineral) abnormalities, and irritation of the anus.

Food Poisoning that Causes Diarrhea:

Many types of food poisoning can cause diarrhea,  and the onset of diarrhea can vary depending on the type of contamination.

Common pathogens that cause diarrhea within hours include:

  • Salmonella is a bacterium you’ve probably heard of, and diarrhea and other symptoms are likely to appear within 6-48 hours. Salmonella is found on raw meat and poultry, and eggs and can spread from contaminated utensils and surfaces.
  • Staphylococcus aureus causes diarrhea within 1-6 hours and can contaminate cream sauces, meats, and prepared salads. This bacterium can also spread person to person through droplets or hand contact.  
  • Noroviruses can cause diarrhea 12-48 hours after you’re exposed through contaminated raw fruits or vegetables, oysters, or by an infected food handler.
  • Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. Symptoms usually appear in 12-72 hours and can include nervous system symptoms along with diarrhea and other gastric issues. Botulism can be severe and long-lasting and requires medical attention. Foods that can carry clostridium botulinum include improperly canned foods, fermented fish, and baked potatoes cooked in aluminum foil.
  • The bacteria Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens cause diarrhea that begins 8-16 hours after ingesting contaminated meats, gravy, stews, precooked foods, and food not kept at proper temperatures.
  • Listeria, is a bacterium that can be carried by unpasteurized dairy products or ready-to-eat deli meats. Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms may begin in as little as nine hours, but Listeria can be serious, with disease progression that can include neurologic symptoms and complications of pregnancy.

Common pathogens that can cause diarrhea beginning days to weeks after exposure:

  • E. Coli is a very common cause of food-borne diarrhea. It is carried by foods contaminated by feces and symptoms including diarrhea (sometimes bloody) begin 3-4 days after the food is consumed.
  • Campylobacter is a bacterium carried by animal feces. Eating contaminated meat or dairy leads to diarrhea and other symptoms starting at around 2-10 days.
  • Cryptosporidium is a parasite that contaminates undercooked food, water, and can be passed by an infected food handler. Diarrhea and other symptoms usually begin within 2-10 days.
  • Cyclospora is a parasite found in water that contaminates fresh produce, resulting in diarrhea and other symptoms about a week after ingestion.
  • Vibrio vulnificus is bacteria most commonly spread by eating raw oysters or other undercooked shellfish. Diarrhea and other symptoms begin in 1-7 days. Vibrio infections can result in serious disease.

Is Diarrhea a serious symptom?

Most food poisoning does not cause serious disease, but a few types can be dangerous, especially for older people, those with other health conditions, and pregnant women and young children.

While diarrhea is usually not more than an uncomfortable illness, it can lead to dehydration and further complications. If you experience symptoms, increase your fluid intake. If your symptoms last more than a day or two, get worse, or become severe, call your doctor.

Should I report food poisoning?

In case you are experiencing food poisoning symptoms, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance.

Read more

Recent Diarrhea Reports

Ate the chicken sandwich at lunch time and within an hour had horrible bloating which lead to diarrhea. | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Bloating See Less

This afternoon stopped here and ate french fries and McChicken sandwich, been nonstop throwing up diarrhea, stomach pain and cramping sweats and chills was absolutely fine before eating it, Currently 30w pregnant | Symptoms: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cramps, Chills, Sweating, Stomach Pain See Less

My nephew brought me salmon and broccoli and some kind of soup last night. After I ate it about 3 hours I had chills nausea and diarrhea for 3 more hours. Now I feel fine. I don’t know what caused it. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Chills See Less

This was my second box, had some small nausa with the first but i thought it was unrelated.
Second box making me regret thinking that. Chicken looked discoloured and I got rid of it, but trying the Chorizo and roasted pepper linguine a couple hours ago.
Chills,... See More sweating, BIG nausea,bit dizzy with a headache, stomach cramps, Diarrhea, holding down vomit.
Not worth the sign up discount. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cramps, Headache, Chills, Sweating, Dizziness
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Albertsons Companies, in cooperation with its supplier Old Europe Cheese, Inc. has announced an expansion of its voluntary recall on Sept. 30 to add 2 additional ReadyMeals items and 6 in-store prepared items made with certain Brie and Camembert cheeses due to possible contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.... See More There have been no reports of injuries or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

The recalled products were available for purchase from the following Albertsons Cos. store banners: ACME, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Amigos, Andronico’s Community Markets, Balducci’s, Carrs-Safeway, Eagle, Jewel-Osco, King’s, Lucky, Market Street, Pak ‘N Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, United Supermarkets and Vons. The banner stores are located in the following states: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, LA, ME, MD, MA, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OR, PA, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, Washington, D.C and WY.

The list of the recalled products is in the attached images.

Consumers should discard the products or return them to their local store for a full refund.

In case you are experiencing Listeria monocytogenes symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist, seek medical care. If symptoms persist, seek medical care.

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Sunday Oct 2 had takeout chicken dinners one breast with sweet potato fries and one double leg dinner with regular fries plus coleslaw plus wings on Sunday at 11;30am home in 12 minutes and placed in fridge until 4 pm...became ill with vomiting and diarrhea at 2... See More am Monday and still have poor appetite Symptoms lasted until 10 am Monday Wife had only chicken breast and had diarrhea while I had two legs plus wings and was very ill | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Loss of Appetite See Less

I purchased two containers of organic pomegranate seeds when shopping with my daughters Saturday, 9/17/22 - we don't live in the same town, we met for the day, ate everywhere else together and then all went our separate ways. The next day both girls were sick and... See More the only thing that they both ate in common (that I did not eat) was the pomegranate seeds when they got home. They were both sick for well over a week - nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. I love this store but I'm certain those seeds were the cause. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting See Less

I think it is the dressing on the cilantro lime bowl. We ordered one with dressing and one without. Both ate at the same time but only I got sick (with dressing). Within an hour didnt feel great, within a few hours stomach pain and cramping followed by severe vomiting and diarrhea. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Stomach Pain, Cramps See Less

nausea, fever, fatigue and severe diarrhea for 3 days, started 12-24 hours after consumption of chicken nuggets. I was not sick and did not eat the nuggets, but my husband and 17 month old did. The nuggets were cold. | Symptoms: Nausea, Diarrhea, Fever, Fatigue See Less

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