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Food Poisoning: What to Do, When to See the Doctor

JACKSON, Mississippi– Nothing ruins a good meal (or your day) like food poisoning. There are ways to prevent food poisoning and treat the symptoms if it happens to you. 

Dr. Randy Easterling says the primary way to prevent food poisoning is to be careful with food preparation and cooking.

“It is best prevented by refrigerating foods that need to be refrigerated,” says Dr. Easterling, such as ham, any type of meat, or potato salad.”  Not letting refrigerated foods reach room temperature can save you the bellyache of food poisoning later.

“Also when it is time to cook those foods,” says Dr. Easterling, “cook them at the temperature required for the time required, for items such as beef, pork, or anything like that.”

Still, food poisoning may happen, but not because of an oversight on your part. Initially, it is best to let the symptoms run their course, with the exception for infants and the elderly as dehydration becomes more of a risk.

“With vomiting, take plenty of clear liquids to avoid dehydration,” says Dr. Easterling, “for loose stools and diarrhea, over the counter meds can be taken.”

Dr. Easterling warns that if any of these symptoms have blood in them or last more than 24 hours, see the doctor; err on the side of caution with older adults and younger children and make an appointment if signs of food poisoning develop.

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