Food Handling and Food Safety Certification in Canada
Header

Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

December 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Ibrar Ibrar in Food Safety Courses
Fact Checked

Staphylococcal food poisoning is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. It is commonly found on the normal flora of the skin and in the noses of up to 25% of healthy individuals and animals. It does not usually cause harm unless it is transmitted to food products. Staphylococcus aureus produces different types of toxin, several of which can cause food poisoning. Food is most at danger when kept at room temperature where the bacteria can multiply and produce toxins. However, it is important to note that Staphylococcal toxins are resistant to heat, thus cannot be destroyed by cooking. The presence of toxins cannot usually be determined by simply looking at the food. Even if there may be no signs of spoilage, such as bad smell, it does not necessary denote that no toxins are present.

Causes of Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

The most common cause of staphylococcal food poisoning is eating contaminated foods and cannot be transmitted from one person to another. There are several ways of getting Staphylococcus aureus into the food including:

  • Carriers of Staphylococcus handle food without washing their hands
  • Growth of Staphylococcus in unpasteurized products
  • Eating foods that are made with hand

High-risk Foods for Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

All foods are at risk for causing food poisoning to an individual. However, the following food products are considered at greater risk for causing staphylococcal food poisoning. Specifically, food products that are made by hand and require no cooking are considered high-risk foods, which include:

  • Unpasteurized milk and cheese products
  • Salads
  • Salty foods, such as ham
  • Sliced meat
  • Puddings
  • Pastries
  • Sandwiches

Signs and Symptoms of Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness, thus most of its signs and symptoms are related to the digestive tract. Moreover, Staphylococcal toxins are fast acting, thus its incubation period is generally one to six hours. The illness usually lasts from 24-48 hours. The following are signs and symptoms of Staphylococcal food poisoning:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Mild fever

First Aid Management for Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

Fortunately, most cases of Staphylococcal food poisoning are mild and can be managed at home. The main goal of first aid management includes treating the symptoms and avoiding dehydration. The following are first aid tips to managing staphylococcal food poisoning:

  • Take plenty of rest.
  • Drink eight to ten glasses of clear fluids, preferably water.
  • Every time there is a loose bowel movement, drink at least one cup of liquid.
  • Instead of eating three big meals, eat small meals instead.
    Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

    Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

  • Put some salty food in the diet, such as pretzels, soup, and sports drinks.
  • Eat foods high in potassium, such as bananas, potatoes without the skin and fruit juices with plenty of water.
  • Medications can be given to calm the stomach.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice and should not be substituted for formal training. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis. Seek medical attention when necessary. It is important to recognise potential medical emergencies at all times to avoid complications from developing. To learn more about how to manage Staphylococcal food poisoning, enrol in First Aid Courses and CPR Courses with Red Cross Training.

Online Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/staphylococcal/

http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/staphylococcus/

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/tc/staph-food-poisoning-topic-overview

Was this post helpful?
Let us know if you liked the post. That’s the only way we can improve.
Yes0
No0

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

captcha

  • All foodsafetycertification.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All foodsafetycertification.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.