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What to eat for food posoning recovery?

I'm at the spoonfuls of yogurt and a couple of saltines every few hour stage today, but am hoping to be able to eat something a little tastier tomorrow -- just don't want to upset the applecart, as it were. I have some chicken stock in the freezer, so could make soup. Also have a nice piece of halibut. It's been so long since I've been really sick that I've forgotten what ingredients/spices are easiest on the digestion.

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  1. Bland, bland, bland food for a couple of days. then re-introduce things gently. Tea, toast, gingerale... My nephew was hospitalized with food poisoning from Street food last Labor Day. Boy,was he sick.

    I had food poisoning once in my life, over 40 years ago and still remember it!

    Get well soon!

    1. rice. bananas.toast. weak tea.

      1 Reply
      1. re: thew

        and applesauce... BRAT.

        next step could be to stirfry (in broth or Pam) some tofu and white rice.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Had a piece for lunch, Sam, and it tasted very good (but then I like burned toast under any circumstances). Is there something about burning the taost that makes it especially digestible?

          1. re: pikawicca

            it isn't the digestability, charcoal is supposed detoxify

        2. Crackers and ginger ale. Some oatmeal later if you are ambitious. Juice. Herbal tea.
          Soup with rice or noodles tomorrow.

          I've had very mild fp several times and only one Very Bad I Wish I Could Die case.

          I would stay away from any dairy product whatsoever til I was *completely* better.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Louise

            i second louise's advice about not eating any dairy- often the bacteria in your stomach that caused the food poisoning destroy the good bacteria that normally digest dairy. even if you wait a long time to eat dairy, you may still get sick. hopefully, it won't lead to lactose intolerance.

            1. re: njchowgal

              I disagree if you need good bacteria, you might as well be eating yogurt as almost every yogurt on the market it right now has "probiotic cultures" which are the epitome of good bacteria.

          2. BRAT or BRATY is what always works for us.

            Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Tea/Toast and some people swear by yogurt. I'm one of them. :) The beasties in yogurt are important for digestive balance in a system that's out of whack. I'd stay away from all other dairy, as someone else recommended, but having some yogurt should do more good than normal dairy would.

            I make the rice with broth, to give it more flavour, but nothing other than that. We can't really drink tea, so we usually have water, but we've also tolerated some juices when we were recovering.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Morganna

              A plain baked potato, noodles, veggie broth should be fine for recovery. I had food poisoning once and I still remember how gross I felt for several days after the onset. I agree with bland and brat diets. Hope you feel better soon!

              1. re: addicted2cake

                An MD friend also recommended the plain baked potato, so I'll give this a try for dinner tonight. Do you know if plain sweet potatoes are also easily digestible?

            2. You have plenty of sympathy from me; I had a bout of salmonella from the 2006 peanut butter disaster.

              I lived on rice for several days; first plain cooked with water and then with chicken broth. I worked my way back to toast and fruit. Oh, and ask Craig to pick up some Pedialyte and drink that with ginger ale.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jillp

                I tried the Pedialyte plain -- gag! Will try mixing it.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  We've had the stomach flu go through the family recently and for the first while DH & I lived on Gatorade (nurse said it's basically pedialyte for grownups) while the kids were on the flavoured Pedialyte or plain mixed with a little apple juice.

                  Hope you feel better soon,

                  1. re: maplesugar

                    Forget the Pedialyte.....most doctors I've known have always recommended 7-Up.

                  2. re: pikawicca

                    Forget the Pedialyte -- you're a grownup! Try SmartWater instead. It has electrolytes, and will keep you properly hydrated. Then broth, jello, saltines, until it feels right to eat real food.
                    Funny -- the thread I was reading just before this was "should I throw away the shrimp that may have gone bad?"

                2. We have sensitive stomachs in our family (my sister, brother and myself). We each all have had food poisoning on numerous occasions. I swear having a bad case once in your life makes you more susceptible to getting it again. I would absolutely stay away from fish and milk products. Ginger ale, ginger tea, Gatorade, Coke (not diet), and chicken noodle soup (without chicken meat in it), are the things that make me feel better. I also like a banana and saltines, and cream of wheat cereal.
                  Those are my suggestions, and I hope you feel better soon. Did you figure out what it was that made you sick?

                  1. Protein and fat are harder to digest than carbs - I learned this the hard way after a bout of diverticulitis. I was given inadequate/incomplete information about how to eat while recovering. I figured yogurt and eggs were bland, and continued to be in great pain until I spoke to a nurse who told me to stick to bland CARBS. Later on, you may need yogurt or a probiotic supplement to get your intestinal flora back on track, but not right away. Wait until your GI tract feels normal again, and your appetite returns. When I've had food poisoning, I absolutely crave oranges - I don't know if it's the potassium or other nutrients, or the astringency.

                    1. Rice porridge-- carbs, homey, comforting, super easy to make, and good with pickled veggies (which are easy to digest). Relatedly, my usual go-to food when I'm sick (or hung over) is ochazuke: a little steamed white rice in a bowl with some broth or tea poured over. I usually use weak fish broth (dried anchovies or bonito flakes cooked with kombu) and a couple drops of soy sauce, and eat it with umeboshi.
                      I second the recommendation for oranges, too!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: another_adam

                        Do you suppose a little miso mixed into the broth would be okay? I could use some extra salt.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          Yes, sure! It's great in porridge (okayu). For ochazuke more traditional way to incorporate miso, perhaps, would be to take some bonito flakes and mix in some miso, maybe a bit of sugar and/or grated ginger, and briefly stir it in a hot pan to toast and incorporate it, then sprinkle it on top of the ochazuke. But I don't see why it couldn't be mixed into the tea, instead.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            I just got over a horrible case of FP myself and Miso soup brought me back to life and helped to get everything back in order digestively.. I would steer clear of adding too much to it.

                        2. Pik, I would make chicken rice or chicken noodle soup, very plain just stock and starch.

                          Fizzy 7 up or ginger ale is also good.

                          1. Thanks for your generous suggestions, everyone! They should see me through the next few days.

                            1. Pepto Bismol liquid or tablets before or with your meals. There's something in Pepto Bismol that will kill the bad bacteria (toxic strain of E. Coli) that can cause food poisoning or traveler's diarrhea. Also as a preventative measure when traveling you can take 2-4 tablets a day to maybe "prevent" getting traveler's diarrhea.
                              Ask a pharmacist and they will confirm the benefits of Peptol Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate)

                              From University of Oregon Health Services

                              1. while i might not recommend it as anything but tongue in cheek, but i was in morocco a few years ago with 3 friends and we all got dreadfully ill on some chicken from the casablanca trains station (i know i know)

                                on the 2nd day of sick 3 of us had spaghetti bolognese sent up by room service, and all felt much better afterwords. the 4th who wouldn;t eat the pasta stayed sick a few days longer.

                                now if i tell my friend richard im cooking a bolognese he will ask me "is everyone alright?"

                                1. Also, yogurt does have good bacteria, but the milk in it can be hard on your stomach. So ask a friend to bring you some acidophilis or other probiotic in pill form, from your local health food store.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: rememberme

                                    In addition to BRAT, and the A is for applesauce, the acidophilis tablets with billions of bacteria that must be kept refrigerated are the best treatment for all the violent GI tract problems. It's a good idea to take them after a series of antibiotics too. You will be amazed at your quick recovery if you just take them as directed on the package. For most folks it's almost immediate.
                                    To get re-hydrated, clear fluids are best, then add some low sodium tomato juice as it has as many electrolytes as Gatorade. Absolutely avoid all dairy products.

                                  2. My sons pediatrician gave this to us when my son got the flu once. He calls it the BRAT diet. Been around for years, but I also have used it. It truly works.


                                    Apple sauce is fine, toast NO butter, white or brown rice again NO butter. However I did sneek just a touch on, very little. It really works!

                                      1. My doctor had prescribed the BRAT diet for me, when I had food poisoning:

                                        R- Rice

                                        Good luck and feel better!

                                        1. Yes, start with the BRAT diet. You can put jam on the toast -- anything that is essentially sugar & water (like jello) is fine. As you start to recover, go to mild, plain proteins but no fats -- broiled chicken, hard-boiled egg (technically the white only, as the yolk has fat).

                                          1. I have to say that I tried rice and it caused problems. This is probably just a personal thing, but it didn't work for me. For the record, I did a risotto without fat and added a few drops of honey -- major bad results.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                              What kind of liquid was used to cook the risotto -- e.g., was it a broth that included fat? Was it white rice, or brown? I've always just assumed that "rice" for the BRAT diet was basic white rice, cooked in water. I'd think you'd want to avoid brown rice because of the higher fiber content. Rice crispies are ok too.

                                              1. re: masha

                                                The BRAT diet my son had at the hospital (ecoli) included both brown and white rice - but all was cooked in water. Of course, no 2-year old will eat plain brown rice cooked in water.

                                              2. Besides the usual toast and stuff, my go-to food is pastina.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                  Similarl to lawgirl's remedy, I make couscous with mild chicken broth. It's my go to comfort food after the flu or food poisoning (which I've had three times in my life - and agree with Louise that when it's bad you think death would be preferable).

                                                2. For those who someday will need to know, if you have to eat out while recovering, go to a Chinese restaurant. You can order white rice and wonton soup, and just drink the broth if necessary.

                                                  1. I think I might choose Crostini spread with Kaopectate

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. Further down the line, you might want to introduce artichoke hearts. They soothe the digestive tract.

                                                      1. Sorry if someone's already said this, but try fabulous Smart Water! It's just water with electrolytes, so it restores what's missing. Basically tastes like plain water, but does so much more. I had hepatits a few years ago and it's the only thing that helped me get back on my feet.

                                                        1. Hey I have read alot of the posts here and see I am several months behind. I have had E coli for 7 days.... I was franticallly looking for anything to help me and I wound up here. Yesterday I thought I was going to die until I was given a bottle of Oragano oil...... WOW. It works. My guts don't hurt anymore and I feel I might live. Do all the foods that are talked about but take 2 drops of Oragano oil 3 times a day. Do some research and check it out.

                                                          1. Congee, saltines, yogurt with active cultures. Be careful of the hfcs in most of the commercial ones, tho!