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Food poisoning

Who do I see?

Self-care / GP


Food poisoning is a disease caused by eating contaminated food or food that has not been stored or cooked properly. The usual organisms to blame are bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli or sometimes a virus like norovirus. Food poisoning is often suspected if a number of people come down with similar symptoms soon after sharing a meal together.

Although the symptoms can be quite unpleasant such as fever, tummy pain, diarrhoea and vomiting, in most cases symptoms settle within a few days and any extra treatment is rarely recommended or required. Antibiotics can sometimes make things worse if they are given without knowledge of the underlying infectious organism so they are rarely used for food poisoning.

Follow the advice on the NHS Inform website to help ease symptoms and avoid dehydration. This website also gives you guidance as to when to seek further advice. If you have cause to seek further advice, please submit an online medical consultation request for the Urgent Medical Problem Team giving us as much information about your problem as you can. You will get a same-day response usually by telephone or a time to attend the surgery for further assessment and examination.

If you cannot use the online service please call us on 0345 337 1120 and a member of the care navigation team will help you.