You’ve been up all night, puking your guts out and clinging onto the porcelain throne for dear life. Not pretty. Is it food poisoning? The stomach flu? Does it even matter? Well to your boss tomorrow when you call in—sure, maybe.

So here’s the technical difference, just to store away in your sick-as-a-dog arsenal: The stomach flu can present all sorts of symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, fever, etc.) and lasts about three to five days, whereas food poisoning typically lasts one or two and rarely involves a fever. Neither are a picnic, but are least you’re informed next time you suffer. Here’s to ginger ale and crackers!

MORE: The Science Behind Foodborne Illness