Food poisoning treatment available online today

In order to treat your food poisoning, consult with one of our board-certified doctors online today to get help with your stomach issues. Get a new antibiotics prescription to treat food poisoning or refill an existing prescription today.*

Book an appointment

Food poisoning diagnosis and treatment online

Relief from abdominal pain and nausea

Request Anitbiotics to help treat food poisoning*

*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of food poisoning. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about food poisoning

Food poisoning is a temporary illness caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites contained in food. Food poisoning is very common and occurs in about 48 million people every year. Food poisoning is commonly mistaken for stomach flu or gastritis but has specific causes and symptoms that differ from gastritis.

Older adults, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk to catch food poisoning. Those with weakened immune systems are more at risk to catch foodborne germs.

Food poisoning causes

  • Types of infection

    Food poisoning is mostly caused by bacteria. The most common bacteria that cause food poisoning includes Salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, and E. coli. These germs contaminate food in different ways. Germs can live on or inside the food. If not cleaned or cooked properly, germs may still be on the food, causing illness. People who do not wash their hands, and then prepare food can cause food poisoning. 

    Foods can contaminate one another on cutting boards such as cutting fresh vegetables on a designated meat cutting board. 

    Sometimes parasites contaminate food causing illness. Parasites are organisms that cause illness and are usually found in contaminated water or food. Parasites can also include tiny worms that people can catch by consuming certain foods. 

    Foodborne illnesses cause many types of infections. Bacterial food poisoning is a common source of contamination. Food poisoning can cause infections such as:

    • Viral gastroenteritis

    • Rotavirus infection

    • Typhoid fever

    • Campylobacter, Salmonella, or E. Coli infections

    • Listeria infection

Food poisoning symptoms

When you think of food poisoning, your mind automatically goes to your digestive system. It is no surprise that common food poisoning symptoms are related to the gastrointestinal tract.

How to treat food poisoning

Food poisoning typically will run its course. Many times, symptoms will go away on their own, but if symptoms persist or you do not feel well, make an appointment to speak with your doctor. Depending on your situation and symptoms,  food poisoning can be treated with fluids through an IV or antibiotics.

If you are able to eat or drink, try bland foods such as the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet consists of bland food items like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Broths may also be tolerable as well as low-fat meals.

Feeling sick can affect the amount of food you eat and the liquids you drink. The infected person may not even be able to suck on ice chips because of acute diarrhea and fluid loss. It is important to replace lost fluids and treat dehydration. Mild dehydration can be managed at home, but severe dehydration can be life-threatening and requires medical treatment.

Medication for food poisoning

How to prevent food poisoning

Food safety is crucial in preventing food poisoning. Food safety is centered around food purchasing, storage, preparation, cooking, and serving. Not following standard guidelines for food safety can lead to food poisoning. Handle food in a clean environment, with clean utensils, and with clean hands. Handling raw meat and undercooked beef are common food practices that have harmful bacteria.

The following are guidelines to help prevent food poisoning:

  • Do not buy or eat canned food items that are dented, cracked, or bulging.

  • Put leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours after cooking them.

  • Carefully wash all fruits and vegetables with clean water.

  • Avoid eating raw meat, undercooked ground beef, undercooked poultry, or raw shellfish.

  • Avoid eating raw eggs.

  • Avoid eating soft cheeses or unpasteurized milk.

  • Eat foods that are prepared in a restaurant that is certified by the local health department.

  • Use a meat thermometer to keep food at safe temperatures

  • Serve cooked foods on clean plates with clean forks, spoons, and knives.

When to see a doctor for food poisoning

Notify your doctor if you have 6 runny stools in 24 hours, have blood in your vomit or diarrhea, a fever higher than 101.3, severe stomach cramps, or are not able to drink enough liquids. These can be signs of a serious illness. In such cases, over-the-counter medications will not treat diarrhea or prevent dehydration. In many cases, trying to manage severe food poisoning with over-the-counter medication can worsen symptoms. Eating contaminated food can cause serious foodborne illness and adverse health conditions.

Related conditions to food poisoning

  • Stomach flu

    Food poisoning and stomach flu share similar symptoms. These two are often used interchangeably, but not always correctly. Stomach flu is caused by a virus, usually, the norovirus, while food poisoning is typically caused by contaminated food.

    Abdominal pain and discomfort

    Abdominal pain and discomfort are early warning signs that something is wrong. Abdominal pain and discomfort are the symptoms of many illnesses, so it is important to speak with a doctor about your symptoms.


    Gastritis is an infection in the stomach usually caused by a bacteria named H. Pylori.

Food poisoning treatment FAQs

  • What is the best treatment for food poisoning?

    Taking in enough fluids and eating small meals without fat, is the best treatment for food poisoning. Oral rehydration salts can be used for mild dehydration caused by food poisoning.

  • What is the best medicine to treat food poisoning?

    Drink plenty of fluids and rest. If symptoms do not improve in 24 hours, make an appointment to see an online doctor from the comfort of your home.

  • How do I know if it’s a stomach virus or food poisoning?

    Although the symptoms of stomach flu and food poisoning can overlap, the primary indicator of which you have will be the timing of symptoms.

    Viral stomach flu will incubate for roughly 24-48 hours after exposure to the virus, whereas food poisoning will be much faster at 2-6 hours after eating contaminated food. Many cases of the stomach flu resolve in a few days, with more prolonged cases lasting up to 10 days. Most food poisoning cases last only for a day or two.

  • How long does it take to recover from food poisoning?

    Food poisoning recovery usually takes 1 to 2 days.

  • How do I know if I had food poisoning?

    If you have vomiting, diarrhea, fever, belly pain, or generalized weakness 2 to 6 hours after eating food or drink, then it is likely that you have food poisoning.

  • How quickly does food poisoning kick in?

    Food poisoning kicks in quickly after you eat. Typically you will begin to feel uncomfortable symptoms about 2 hours after you ate the contaminated food or drink.

3 simple steps to request treatment for food poisoning today

Step 1

Book a food poisoning treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your food poisoning symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up a prescription to treat food poisoning.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Food poisoning treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request food poisoning treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • United Healthcare

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

Book an appointment

If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.

Food poisoning treatment resources


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information

PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.