Herb Weisbaum of KOMO 1000 News reports that the microorganisms that spoil food are different from the bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause food poisoning.
“Most of these bugs don’t change the appearance or change the taste of what you’re eating,” says the Wellness Letter’s Dr. John Swartzberg.
Here’s something else a lot of people don’t know: Sometimes food poisoning happens very quickly – within a few hours – sometimes it takes a lot longer. So it may not be the last thing you ate that’s making you sick.

“It could be a meal from two or three days ago,” Dr. Swartzberg says. “There are some bugs that can even cause disease with what doctors call an incubation period of up to a month. So it’s often very difficult to tell what meal it was.”
And where do you think you’re more likely to get food poisoning? “It turns out that probably most cases of food poisoning occur from what we’ve prepared at home,” he says.
Food poisoning usually lasts a day or two, but it can linger for a week or more. The Wellness Letter says you should see a doctor if you have bloody stools, a fever, abdominal pain, or prolonged or severe vomiting or diarrhea.
Food poisoning can very serious for pregnant women, the elderly, young children and those with a weakened immune system. Anyone in these groups should talk to their doctor even when symptoms are milder.