Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Food Poisoning

What should I eat if I have food poisoning?

When you have food poisoning, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. You may vomit after you eat or lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet, even if you still have diarrhea.

When children have food poisoning, parents and caretakers should give children what they usually eat as soon as their appetite returns. Parents and caretakers should give infants breast milk or formula as usual.

A couple eating dinner together.
When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet.

What should I avoid eating if I have food poisoning?

For some people, certain food ingredients may make food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea, worse, including

  • drinks with caffeine, such as coffee and tea, and some soft drinks.
  • foods that are high in fat, such as fried foods, pizza, and fast foods.
  • foods and drinks that contain large amounts of simple sugars, such as sweetened beverages and some fruit juices.
  • milk and milk products, which contain the sugar lactose. Some people recovering from food poisoning have problems digesting lactose for up to a month or more afterward.

Research shows that following a restricted diet does not help treat diarrhea. Most experts do not recommend fasting or following a restricted diet when you have diarrhea.

June 2019
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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.