Can You Get Food Poisoning From Coffee?

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Coffee?

Can coffee make you sick? A lot of people are very cautious about their health and there is a good reason to be. However, coffee is an essential and critical morning ritual in so many homes, the day hasn’t started without a hot cup of coffee.

Usually, foodborne illnesses are commonly caused by dairy products, meat, and eggs. But when you begin to feel uncomfortable after only having coffee, it will cause you to wonder if it is possible for coffee can trigger food poisoning.

Quick answer: Yes, indeed it is possible to get food poisoning from coffee. When there is mold growth it usually means that the coffee wasn’t properly dried properly and the consumption of such coffee can lead to food poisoning.

In some cases, coffee can make you feel nauseous especially when it is taken before breakfast, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s food poisoning. Now let’s guide you through how coffee can cause food poisoning as well as how to prevent getting food poisoning from drinking coffee.

Food Poisoning From Drinking Coffee: Causes

It is not very usual to get food poisoning from coffee but that doesn’t mean it is not possible.

Coffee is considered a food and like every type of food such as meat, fish, and eggs there is also the risk of food born illness. However, strange as it may sound, it is pervasive for coffee to cause food poisoning.

The major cause of food poisoning from coffee is contamination. Not only from bacteria but also from toxins such as molds. It is quite rare for coffee to be contaminated especially when it is roasted properly. Under-roasted coffee can easily house bacteria as the environment is usually very conducive and favorable for them.

That being said, let’s discuss other possible reasons why you may get food poisoning from drinking coffee;

Woman Drinking Coffee in Coffeeshop
Image: Envato Elemets

1. Mycotoxins Are Present

Mycotoxins are toxins from molds. These toxins are tiny fungi and just like you guessed, they are very harmful to the health when ingested. Coffee that has not been properly stored is easily exposed to the risk of fungi contamination. There are two mycotoxins that are commonly found in coffee, and they are aflatoxins B1 and ochratoxins A.

The toxins released by these molds can not only cause food poisoning but liver diseases as well, so it is best to adequately store your coffee to avoid health issues.

2. Using Bad Coffee Creamer

In some cases, the coffee is not solely to blame, the coffee creamer might have been the problem.

Creamer that has been in the refrigerator for way too long and might have expired can cause your digestive system to react, thereby causing your body to show symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Molds and toxins can also form in coffee creamer and when ingested can cause your stomach to hurt and make you sick. It is best to be cautious of not only the coffee but the creamer as well.

3. Coffee Was Left Out For Too Long

Coffee that has been left out at room temperature is at risk of bacteria contamination. The risk is even higher when there is a creamer in the coffee. I get it, some people prefer to take their coffee slowly for over an hour, however, this can expose your body to toxins and trigger food poisoning symptoms.

4. Coffee Maker Is Contaminated

If it has been a while since you cleaned the coffee machine, it is also possible that the coffee can get contaminated as a result. The coffee machine can sometimes be home to harmful bacteria such as salmonellosis and E-coli.

How To Avoid Food Poisoning From Coffee

There are some basic health rules for taking coffee, for sure you have to be very observant about what your body needs and how it reacts to certain meals. However, the best way to avoid food poisoning from coffee is by protecting the coffee from bacteria contamination.

As far as making coffee is concerned, the coffee machine has to be clean to prevent molds and bacteria from forming around it. The coffee creamer matters as well, because an expired creamer can cause food poisoning.

Always make sure the coffee creamer is safe for consumption and if it is not be sure to discard it.

Coffee left to sit out for too long can cause trigger symptoms of food poisoning. To avoid food poisoning it is best to drink coffee as fast as possible to prevent it from breaking down the proteins and eventually giving the coffee an unpleasant taste.

What To Do After Getting Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning can be very uncomfortable, nobody enjoys the feeling. When you get food poisoning after drinking coffee, the next course of action is a remedy to help you feel better. The following are tips that can help you quickly recover from the discomfort.

1. Stay Hydrated

It is best to drink a lot of liquids as your body is losing a lot of fluids which would eventually lead to dehydration. Water should be your best friend to keep you hydrated, on the other hand taking soup, diluted apple juice and decaffeinated tea can help your body quickly recover.

2. Stay Away From Caffeinated Drinks

It is a bad idea to take caffeinated drinks when dealing with food poisoning. As a general rule of thumb stay away from caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks, sodas, expresso, hot chocolate, and above all coffee.

3. Rest

Your body does need some rest, try as much as possible not to restrain from strenuous activities. Make sure to give yourself enough recovery time. Also, eat in small portions as your stomach will also be needing a break as well.


There is no doubt that taking bad coffee can cause food poisoning due to mold growth. However, using contaminated coffee machines, and water as well as expired coffee creamer can result in this discomfort.

More importantly, ensure that proper hygiene is strictly followed if you are having your coffee at a coffee shop, this also applies when brewing coffee at home.

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