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How long does it take for food poisoning (salmonella) to make you sick?
I heard it can take 72 hours. Is that true?

I've never heard of it taking that long. Usually, anywhere from 1/2 hour to maybe 5-6. This is just a guess from experiences I've heard of from others.

If it is food poisoning, you will get sick within 12 hours of ingesting the bad food. If it has been longer than 12 hours, then you probably have a stomach virus or other issue making you sick.

i think it can take 24 hours or just a few if it is really bad I think but wut do i no lol :)

I got food poisoning once. I called poison control, and they told me that if it was bad I'd get sick right away. It took me a few hours to get sick (puking, diareaha), and they said I probably had a mild case and not to worry.

I had eaten some apple salad (with mayonaise) that was several days old.

Salmonella is a lethal decease, you should be very care full with that.
The incubation time is around 70 hours.
Its true.

Nowhere near 72 hours. In the army I saw a whole company come down with Salmonella in a very short time like a few hours.

no it doesnt take up to 72 hours ... its takes about half an hour or an hour or maybe an hour and a half but not more than that ... i shud kno :Pp cuz my bestfrEnd had it

julie h
It depends on how fast you digest food and how fast your metabolism is. It usually kicks in within about 30 to 45 minutes after you finish eating. It usually lasts about 24 hours but can last up to 72 hours if your body's metabolism is slow (like mine).


no...if you have food poisoning it will hit you within 4-6 hrs. it is like pure death so if you have it you'll know it...

my brother got food poisoning on holiday last year, and it only took around an hour after for it to make him sick from it.
i dont know if it can take 72 hours but how ever long it takes its not nice!

Katie D
The link below ought to provide some help, there's tonnes of info on the net. My best friend was hospitalized for a few days with salmonella when she was at college (after the dreadful food hygiene there!).

Best wishes.

No that is not true. It takes about 24 hrs.

It can take up too 72, when I had it was about 3hrs. and I was sick, with in 8hrs. I went to the DOC's

"Once Salmonella has been ingested, the "incubation time" or period from ingestion until the first symptoms of illness occur ranges from 12 to 72 hours. The time to illness may vary depending on many things such as the host's overall fitness and age, the amount and serotype of Salmonella ingested (with some serotypes as few as 20 cells), and the presence of various "stress" factors such as whether the person is undernourished, etc."

My husband had this and it made him sick within 12 hours. He ate a "death dog" aka, a gas station hot dog.. He was really sick for about 48 hours and not well for about 4 days. Not sure if it was salmonella or not but... Hope u don't have it!

Phyllis A
food poisoning to can take as little as 30 minutes - to as long as 72 hours

Food poisoning can be caused by different agents. Campylobacter, shigella, clostridium difficile, salmonella, and E. coli are only a few examples. They all have different incubation periods and depending on how much is ingested, can cause symptoms in as little as 30 minutes to as long as 4-5 days. Salmonella, often found in poultry, is one of the faster-acting bacteria, typically reaching symptomatic levels within 12 hours. It is not typical for salmonella to incubate for longer than 72 hours; that length of time is more typical of campylobacter, which becomes symptomatic around 3-5 days. If salmonella infection is severe, you must get to an ER immediately or there is a risk of death. Dehydration is a serious complication in all food poisoning. Treatment consists of IV fluids and antibiotics. After antibiotic treatment, eat yogurt or a Probiotic supplement to reestablish normal levels of your intestinal flora with L. Acidophilus. This will prevent relapses.

Avoiding food poisoning is an art. When food is not prepared by yourself, be careful around uncooked foods such as salads or raw vegetables. Make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked (no pink) before eating it. Observe the cleanliness of restaurant bathrooms. Do not have ice with your drink. Avoid iced tea, since if it is not freshly made, certain types of bacteria can grow that may make you sick (not everyone is susceptible). Do not eat foods that have been left at room temperature for more than an hour. Obviously, these rules don't apply if you prepare your own food.


I had this once and I was so ill it was unbelievable. This poisoning is usually fairly instant and you will almost certainly feel sick within an hour of eating. If you have this just drink lots and lots of water to avoid dehydration, there is nothing to worry about as it will soon pass its just a horrible feeling. Id say if you having had symptoms for at leat 3 hours you wont have food poisoning

thanks x

food poisoning takes about 1hr-6hrs depending on the density of the food, or how infected it was. salmonella takes about 18hrs-48hrs.

24 to 32 hours from the consumption of the contaminated fluid or food ...it lasts for 4-7 days but the fever subsides from day 2...it heals effectively but there is tha chance of becoming a carrier

Ace Librarian
According to the site below, "Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment."
There is a lot more information at this site.

Sorry to say, every one of the 23 answers so far is wrong because SALMONELLA DOES NOT CAUSE FOOD POISONING. It will make you sick, alright, but that is through INFECTION, not through the ingestion of a preformed toxin, which is what FOOD POISONING is.

Why is the difference important? Because food posoning requires you to flush out the offending TOXIN, not the germs which cause it. INFECTION, on the other hand, needs your immune system, competition form other flora, and intestinal peristalsis to remove it, and can lead to other infections of blood, gall bladder, or even your heart.

Amazingly, several people answered this question with a good citation which told them this, but they did not even read the source.

Now, as to how long after ingestion of Salmonella you can get sick: the BEGINNING of symptoms is usually within 48 hours, but it may be as long as 72 hours. How long it takes depends upon the number of bacteria which you accidentally ingest (eat): if the numbero f bacteria is small, you may have a longer "incubation period"- the time between your contact with the germ and the beginning of illness.

The second source tells the interesting story of how this is known- at a medical convention in Wales, Salmonella contaminated chicken was served. The doctors who gorged themselves on the chicken (ate 2 or more pieces) had shorter incubation periods, more fever, and worse diarrhea than the doctors who ate only one piece. Vegetarian doctors did not get ill.

You may stay ill for another 4 days if you have uncomplicated infection of the intestines, but if infection spreads to the blood (which is called enteric fever, or typoid fever) you may be ill for 10 more days.

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