Food poisoning feels very bad. It can cause significant amounts of fluid loss and diarrhea along with nausea and vomiting may make it difficult to replace lost fluid, leading to dehydration. In developing countries where infectious epidemics cause diarrheal illnesses, thousands of people die because of dehydration. Other organ systems may be infected and affected by food poisoning.
Symptoms will depend upon what organ system is involved (for example, encephalopathy due to brain infection). Food poisoning and the stomach flu may or may not be the same thing, depending if the causative agent is transmitted by contaminated food, or if the agent is transmitted by non-food mechanisms such as body secretions.