Food poisoning recovery - germs died or just went dormant?

When someone is recovering from food poisoning on their own (no antibiotics involved,) did the associated germs in the GI tract actually get killed off by the immune system, or just driven into a state of dormancy where they still create toxins but just on a much lower, asymptomatic level?

The offending micro-organisms and the toxins they produced were usually flushed out of the body, one way or another. Not pleasant, but true.

Ok but what about mild food poisoning cases where there is neither diarrhea nor vomiting involved, just abdominal pain?

Gastroenteritis and food poisoning are two different things. Gastro is generally viral and your immune system will suppress it sooner or later.

Food poisoning is obviously more serious and mostly bacterial (ecoli, salmonella etc) and the infecting agents, as nearwildheaven suggested, eventually get flushed out of your system ‘mechanically’ so to speak.

It depends on what microbe it actually was. There are some strains of strep, staph and e coli bacteria that are present in the gut but the good bacteria keeps them in check so they don’t multiply out of control.

The only way to really know what is going on is to do a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis. That will give you a list of what’s there and their levels. I had a case of leaky gut syndrome for years and when I finally realized what was going on, it took me 4 years of a restricted diet and tons of parasite killing supplements to turn it around. When the gut gets out of balance, it’s a royal pain to get it back. I imagine many people with chronic diseases have a gut that is very out of balance. Even the bone marrow won’t produce the proper immune system components of the gut is out of balance, it really messes with every part of the body.

In a lot of cases of food poisoning, the victim isn’t ingesting live germs at all. Most things will be killed by most cooking methods. The problem is that, before they were killed, the bacteria produced various toxins as waste products, and those toxins often are not destroyed by cooking. Food poisoning is, literally, poisoning.

Quite right.
Anybody who’s had a major course of antibiotics knows that. A few days of treatment killed off my infection, but it took weeks of eating live-culture yogurt, watching my diet, buying lots of toilet paper, etc. to get my gut back in a normal functioning state.