Food poisoning – also known as foodborne illness – is caused when eating food or drink contaminated with harmful bacteria. Millions of people develop food poisoning each year, and while at-home treatments work for most cases, others require medical attention.  

What is Food Poisoning? 

There are hundreds of types of food poisoning and determining the cause of a case can be difficult. Food poisoning can be caused by consuming items contaminated with bacteria, parasites, viruses or mold. Bacteria is the leading cause of food poisoning because bacteria like E. Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria remain on undercooked and unclean food. The cause of food poisoning is typically on a case-by-case basis, but outbreaks do happen and are easier to track if it’s widespread.   

Foodborne illness symptoms usually develop between 24 and 48 hours after eating or drinking the contaminated item and may last a few days or weeks. Normal symptoms include:  

  • Vomiting  
  • Nausea  
  • Upset Stomach 
  • Abdominal Cramps 
  • Fever 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dehydration 


Food poisoning is resolved with at-home treatments and will go away within a few days. The purging stage of food poisoning depletes the body of water, creating concern for severe dehydration. Increase fluid intake to ensure your body stays hydrated and replenishes lost electrolytes.  

When to Visit the Emergency Room for Food Poisoning 

Infants, children, the elderly, pregnant women and the immunocompromised are at higher risk of developing complications from foodborne illnesses and should be monitored or visit the doctor if symptoms progress.  

Food Poisoning and other foodborne illnesses are usually non-fatal and treatable with over-the-counter medication and rest. Although if symptoms of food poisoning last more than three days, it’s important to seek medical. Visiting an urgent care if you have frequent diarrhea and vomiting, dehydration symptoms or a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit can prevent you from experiencing worse symptoms. Urgent care doctors will prescribe antibiotics or probiotics to help fight off infections.  

Emergency rooms treat life-threatening and severe cases of injury and illness. Visit the emergency room if you are experiencing these symptoms due to food poisoning: 

  • Bloody vomit or stools 
  • Extreme pain and cramps 
  • High fever 
  • Severe dehydration symptoms (weakness, dizziness, little urination and dry mouth) 

If you think you are experiencing food poisoning or foodborne illness, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you find the best treatment you need at PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care. To find a location near you, visit 

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.