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Is Food Poisoning Contagious?

June 30, 2022

Is Food Poisoning Contagious?


There is no worse feeling than sitting on the bathroom floor with your head in the toilet for hours. If you have been there before, there’s a chance you have experienced food poisoning. 

Although it is uncomfortable, food poisoning is actually extremely common. If you are experiencing it for the first time, you might be wondering how you got it, what you can do about it, or if you can spread it to the people around you. 

Read on to get all the information you need and find out if you can spread it to other people.

What Is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is an infection or irritation of your digestive tract, which comes from food or drink containing illness-inducing pathogens. Since it is located in your digestive tract, your symptoms can be related to digestive issues. 

When your body has food poisoning, your body is attempting to rebel against the virus, bacteria, or other harmful substance from something you ate or drank. Most types of food poisoning are not contagious. However, foodborne illnesses can rarely lead to severe complications.

What Causes Food Poisoning?

While not every case is the same, you can develop food poisoning when infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites contaminate your food. The transfer of harmful organisms from one surface to another, known as cross-contamination, is often the cause of infectious organisms living in food.

Food can become contaminated at any point, including during harvesting, processing, storing, shipping or preparing. 

Eating contaminated or undercooked meat often leads to food poisoning, but the following foods have also been known to lead to illness:

  • Raw and Undercooked Eggs
  • Soft or Unpasteurized Cheeses and Other Dairy Products
  • Unwashed Vegetables and Fruits
  • Raw Fish or Oysters
  • Raw Meat like Beef
  • Contaminated Water
  • Unpasteurized Milk
  • Undercooked Rice
  • Unrefrigerated Food 

What Are Symptoms of Food Poisoning?

Within hours of eating the contaminated food, the most common symptoms may include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever and Body Aches
  • Dizziness and Lightheadedness 
  • Chills and shakes

Your body can be seriously dehydrated from trying to remove the contaminated food out of your system. Try to take some sips of water throughout your sickness, and drink as much water as you can as soon as your symptoms start to alleviate. 

Food Poisoning vs. Stomach Bug

Food poisoning and the stomach bug are both illnesses that are located within the digestive tract, so they often have similar symptoms. It’s essential to look for the slight differences, though, so you can treat the illness properly. 

Although you can be experiencing similar symptoms if you have food poisoning or a stomach bug, the most important thing to pay attention to is the timing of your sickness. 

If you develop symptoms within a few hours of eating, it’s likely to be food poisoning

Meanwhile, stomach flu symptoms generally appear between 24 to 48 hours after exposure to someone else who is infected with a virus. If you know that someone you were in contact with is sick, you most likely have a stomach bug.

Additionally, symptoms of a stomach virus often last about three to four days but can last for up to 14 days.

Is It Contagious?

So now that you know food poisoning is an illness that comes from consuming contaminated foods, and it causes intense symptoms related to complications in your digestive system, you might still be wondering: can I be contagious?

Short answer: probably not.

Luckily for you, you can rely on your friends or family to help you while you are ill from food poisoning, and you won’t have to worry about them getting sick from coming into contact with you. 

However, if the food that made you sick was shared with other people, they are most likely going to get sick as well. This is also an excellent way to discover what food made you sick. 

This can help you avoid that food in the future and prevent further experiences with food poisoning.

Although you don’t need to worry about infecting someone else through contact, there is a small chance that food-borne illness can spread through an exchange of bodily fluids. 

Therefore, if you have food poisoning, avoid any exchange of saliva and make sure any vomit or diarrhea does not come into contact with the people around you. 

If you follow these guidelines, you do not need to worry about passing it along. 


Treatment for most types of food poisoning requires proper hydration and easing the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. 

IV Therapy 

If you have never heard of IV Therapy Treatment, it is a way to administer nutrients to the body through an IV. An IV bag is filled with a saline solution, electrolytes, medications, vitamins, and nutrients and administered through an IV. 

This is an efficient process because it allows the hydration, medications, vitamins, and nutrients to bypass the digestive system, where many nutrients can disappear and not be absorbed. 

With IV vitamin therapy, the nutrients, medications, or vitamins you need can get directly to work in your body and provide visible results much more quickly. 

At The I.V. Doc, we offer Food Poisoning Relief Treatment. This treatment can help fight nausea, heartburn, and swelling. This can rehydrate your body and alleviate symptoms such as headaches, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

Is IV Therapy Treatment Safe?

There are many benefits to receiving an IV therapy treatment. With any IV treatment, you always face the possibility of an infection. 

Any time you puncture the skin, you open up the body to outside pathogens, leading to complications. Overall, there are minor risks associated with IV vitamin therapy, but the risks do not exceed those of any other injection. 

Proper Precautions

Now that you know what food poisoning is and how to treat it, you’re probably wondering how to prevent food poisoning in the future.

Although it’s difficult to avoid the risks since you are most likely not growing and preparing all of your own food, you can take certain precautions to reduce the chances of becoming sick again. 

The best way to help prevent food poisoning is to handle food carefully from the start. Keep perishables chilled and cook meat, poultry, and seafood thoroughly. This is especially important when you are going on a picnic or an event where high-risk foods are left out and served for hours at a time.

To help prevent food poisoning, here are some safety tips to keep in mind. 

  • Washing your hands and work surfaces before, during, and after food preparation
  • Separating raw meat and eggs from other foods
  • Cooking food to the correct internal temperature
  • Refrigerating leftovers within two hours of cooking

If symptoms persist, be sure to consult your doctor right away.


There’s nothing worse than food poisoning and the symptoms that come with it. That’s why The I.V. Doc is here to help! 

If you’re feeling symptoms of food poisoning that won’t go away, schedule a Food Poisoning Relief IV Therapy Treatment

Once you have recovered from food poisoning, be sure to take all the precautions possible to avoid it in the future. This includes washing your hands, cooking food correctly, and storing your leftovers properly. 

So what are you waiting for? Contact The I.V. Doc and schedule your appointment with us today!


Does IV Vitamin Therapy Work? | Cedars-Sinai

Food Poisoning Symptoms | CDC

Dehydration: Causes & Symptoms | Cleveland Clinic

« Back to Blog | The I.V. Doc Information on Dehydration, Jet Lag, Hangovers, Food Poisoning and Vitamin Drips

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