What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?

What are the signs and symptoms of food poisoning?

Answer: 

The symptoms of food poisoning can vary greatly depending on the organism(s) causing the illness. There are actually two types of food poisoning: intoxication and infection.
With intoxication, the first or most predominate symptoms are upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms (nausea, vomiting) which occur shortly after ingestion of the contaminated food (2-24 hours).

With infection, the first or most predominate symptoms are lower gastrointestinal tract symptoms (abdominal cramps, diarrhea) which occur longer (6-36 hours up to several days) after ingestion. Other symptoms associated with food poisoning can include fever, chills, malaise, headache, and bloody diarrhea. Some organisms may cause neurological or allergic symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, puffiness, tingling, itching skin, burning throat and muscle aches.

In order to confirm food poisoning a doctor must run tests on blood, stool, and/or vomit to detect the presence of the organism. However, with many of the intoxication type of illnesses, the organism is not detectable. Food samples may also be checked to find the organism.