Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling - Treatment Overview
information on treating diarrhea or dehydration, see the topics
Diarrhea, Age 11 and Younger,
Diarrhea, Age 12 and Older, and
Follow the links below for
more information, including specific treatment for each
Botulism, E. coli infection, and
infection during pregnancy
botulism food poisoning, immediate and intensive
medical care is usually needed. This care includes:
botulism antitoxin to adults within 72 hours after
symptoms are first observed.
- Giving botulism immunoglobulin (BIG)
to infants less than 1 year old.
- Mechanical breathing assistance
There are many strains of E. coli, and some of them cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin. Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli is also known as STEC. And the most commonly identified STEC in North America is E. coli O157:H7. Treatment of
E. coli infection generally consists of
managing the complications, mainly
dehydration caused by diarrhea. If you develop
severe blood or kidney problems, such as anemia or
kidney failure, you may have to go to the hospital. Treatment of
E. coli may include:
- Monitoring of fluids and essential
Dialysis to filter waste products from your blood.
Some people with kidney failure caused by E. coli infection require dialysis.
Blood transfusion to treat
anemia by giving you additional oxygen-rich red blood
Most healthy adults recover from E. coli infections in 5 to 10 days without the need for medicine.
Antibiotics are usually not recommended, and medicines that stop diarrhea are
not used to treat the infection. For more information, see the topic
E. Coli Infection.
If you are
pregnant, all food poisoning can be more severe. And
toxoplasmosis and listeriosis can be dangerous to your
fetus. If you are diagnosed with either of these
conditions during pregnancy, you will be treated with antibiotics. For more
information on toxoplasmosis, see the topic
Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy.
What To Think About
Babies and young children,
pregnant women, older adults, and people with
impaired immune systems are more likely to become ill
with food poisoning and have complications. These people should seek medical
care if they or their caregivers think they may have food poisoning. Pregnant
women should always consult their doctors if they feel they may
have food poisoning, because the infection can be passed on to the