Get Healthy Carson City

Be Food Safe: Food poisoning symptoms

Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die from diseases related to food poisoning.
Do you know the different food poisoning symptoms? When should you see a doctor for food poisoning? What are the long-term effects of food poisoning and who is most at risk?
As we celebrate National Food Safety Education Month this September, the Carson City Health and Human Services Environmental Health Division, would like to share with you some important food related germs to look out for, food poisoning tips, and symptoms to look out for if you or a loved one experience food poisoning.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptoms for food poisoning are:
Upset stomach
Stomach cramps
Food poisoning symptoms can be mild to extremely dangerous depending on the type of germ that is swallowed. Symptoms of food poisoning can take hours or days to develop. Please pay attention to your body if you have any unusual or different things happen after eating.
When to Seek Medical Attention
There are dangerous symptoms that may lead to serious health effects if left untreated.
Carson City Health and Human Services urges you to contact your doctor or seek a healthcare provider if you experience:
bloody diarrhea;
fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit;
frequent vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down;
dehydration (signs including little to no urination, a very dry mouth and throat or feeling dizzy when standing up); or
Diarrhea that lasts more than three days.
Serious Health Problems from Food Poisoning
Most people are fortunate and only experience mild symptoms of illness. However, some people are hospitalized, and in some cases, illness has led to long term health problems, and even death. Some long-term effects include:
Chronic arthritis;
Brain and nerve damage; or
Kidney failure caused by hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Who is most at risk?
Those groups of people that may be at a higher risk for food poisoning or the effects include:
Adults aged 65 and older;
Children younger than age 5;
Persons with a weakened immune system including diabetes, kidney/liver disease, HIV/AIDS, or cancer; or
The Most Common Germs Related to Food Poisoning Symptoms
Below are the most common germs that can make you sick and some potential foods where these germs can be found if the foods are not cooked, handled, or stored properly. Please be careful when cooking, handling, and storing these foods to prevent you and others from the risk of food poisoning:
Staphylococcus Aureus (most common in sliced deli meats, pastries, sandwiches)
Norovirus (commonly found in fresh fruits, shellfish (oysters)
Salmonella (undercooked chicken, turkey, meat, eggs, raw milk, raw fruits and vegetables)
Clostridium perfringens (found in beef and poultry especially large roasts)
Vibrio (raw or undercooked shellfish especially oysters)
Campylobacter (associated with raw poultry)
Clostridium botulinum (Botulism – associated with canned or preserved foods, raw foods -including seafoods and honey)
Escherichia coli (E.coli) (raw or undercooked beef, raw milk, raw vegetables)
Cyclospora (found in raw fruits or vegetables)
Listeria (commonly affects women that are pregnant and can cause stillbirths, found in queso fresco, melons, hot dogs, deli meats and raw milk)
Steps to Preventing Food Poisoning
There are steps you can follow at home to help prevent food poisoning symptoms. Please take these precautions to avoid possible food poisoning illnesses:
Please wash your hands and work surfaces.
Separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods using separate utensils and supplies.
Cook food to the correct temperatures; please use a food thermometer to verify.
Chill food appropriately at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Refrigerate any food left over within 2 hours.
Please purchase food from approved licensed businesses.
Carson City Health and Human Services asks your help in notifying our Environmental Health Services Division if you or a loved one experience food poisoning symptoms. We are here to help you and can assist with helpful prevention tips and education.
For additional information provided by CCHHS please visit You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Another resource is the National Capital Poison Control Center at “Like” us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter @CCHealthEd, email us at, call us at (775) 887-2190, or visit us at 900 East Long Street in Carson City. You can also make a report at the number above if you suspect food poisoning in Carson City or Douglas County.
Maria Elena Menjivar is environmental health division manager for Carson City Health and Human Services.


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