The term food poisoning is oftentimes misused and applied to a broad range of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses. However, generally speaking if food that you have eaten was tainted with a virus, bacteria or parasite, the symptoms often begin within an hour of ingestion. Most often, this type of gastrointestinal illness is self-limited and will spontaneously resolve once your immune system gets to work on the infecting agent. Tolerating and keeping up with the symptoms is usually the challenge.