Treatment for food poisoning

If you have been diagnosed with food poisoning then the next step is treatment. This treatment can be done via the following ways:

Each of these is discussed in more detail within this section.

Mild cases of food poisoning can be treated by you at home. But serious cases of food poisoning or people who are considered a ‘high risk’will require medical attention.

What is ‘follow up’treatment?

This refers to careful monitoring of someone who has experienced food poisoning, especially if they work in an environment in which they are likely to spread this infection. This includes care homes, schools and nurseries.

This also includes reporting their illness to their local environmental health department. This equally applies to anyone who has suffered from food poisoning from a retail outlet such as a takeaway, cafe or restaurant.

This is discussed further in our reporting food poisoning section.

Food poisoning persists for a set period of time before disappearing of its own accord. As a result of this there is no need for additional treatment unless there are any complications.

Can food poisoning be treated with antibiotics?

Antibiotics are only prescribed in cases where food poisoning has been caused by a bacterial infection. They do not work when the infection has been caused by a virus.

Antibiotics are ineffectual against viruses, for example, the group of viruses which cause the common cold.

What has been found is that certain strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics. This basically means that the antibiotic is no longer effective which is of major concern now and for the future.

One reason for this is overuse: there has been an over enthusiastic prescription of antibiotics which has led to this problem. This means that it will become increasingly difficult to treat certain diseases in the future.

For more information visit the National Archives section as part of the Department of Health website (

Most cases of food poisoning can be treated at home but if you require medical treatment then follow all instructions carefully and contact your GP if your symptoms worsen.

Food Poisoning Guide

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