You may wonder: “How can I determine which meal gave me food poisons?” Fortunately, there are some ways to track back and find out what caused your illness. Symptoms of food poisoning can show up hours or even days after you eat contaminated food, so it can be difficult to determine which meal caused the illness. Since different organisms work at different speeds, you may not notice any symptoms for a few days, or even weeks. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to cross-check information you provide with your local health department, which compiles information about illnesses.
The symptoms of food poisoning vary from person to person, but most commonly include vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms usually start within 8 hours and can last for two weeks. Here is a list of common contaminants and their associated time of onset and symptoms. Food poisoning can be passed on through contaminated surfaces. Your health care provider can also perform tests to determine which meal gave you food poisoning.
Regardless of the meal you had, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible if you have any symptoms. Food poisoning can be more severe in pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems. It’s especially important to seek medical attention if you have had a recent meal, because some germs can affect an unborn child. A doctor can determine whether you have a food poisoning infection by asking you questions about your eating habits and examining you.