How to cope with food poisoning abroad

Imagine trying to explain to someone the symptoms of food poisoning and how you're feeling when you can’t speak the same language. How are you going to be sure that their medical advice matches your illness? Contracting food poisoning abroad can add frustration to your illness. Here are some pointers... 

  • If you are travelling in Europe check out the documentation you need for getting medical assistance. Find out more about health matters and travelling abroad from the Citizens Information Board (ROI) and Citizens Advice Bureau (NI).
  • When you arrive at a destination you should always be aware of how to get medical assistance, whether it's the local clinic or hospital or a medical service that your holiday rep has recommended.
  • Always have travel insurance which covers you for medical treatment
  • If you’re backpacking, it’s always a good idea to bring Imodium which helps reduce diarrhoea and anti-nausea pills to take until you can arrive at a place where you can be treated.
  • Be sensible. You should always seek medical advice. Don’t think that your body will cure itself if you are seeing no signs of recovery. Mild food poisoning lasts for 24 hours.
  • Remember to keep your fluid levels up and avoid dehydration by drinking as much water as you can.
  • When you are recovering from a particularly bad case of food poisoning, it may be advisable to take re-hydration supplements to help electrolyte function. When your appetite returns, start by eating plain, non-fatty foods such as rice or dry bread and gradually include other foods over the first 48 hours.