Staph Food Poisoning - Topic Overview
What is staph food poisoning?
poisoning is a type of
food poisoning caused by infection with the
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus)
bacterium. The bacteria multiply in foods and produce toxins especially if food is kept at room temperature. The toxins may be present in dangerous amounts in
foods that have no signs of spoilage, such as a bad smell.
What causes staph food poisoning?
Most people get
staph poisoning by eating contaminated food. The most common reason for
contamination is that the food has not been kept hot enough [140°F (60°C) or above] or cold enough
[40°F (4°C) or below].
Foods that are associated with staph food poisoning include:
- Poultry and egg
- Salads such as egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and
- Bakery products such as cream-filled pastries, cream
pies, and chocolate eclairs.
- Sandwich fillings.
and dairy products.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of staph food
poisoning include nausea, vomiting, retching, stomach cramping, and diarrhea.
In more severe cases, dehydration, headache, muscle cramping, and changes in
blood pressure and pulse rate may occur.
Symptoms typically come on quickly. How severe they are depends on your
susceptibility to the toxin, how much contaminated
food you ate, how much of the toxin you ingested, and your general health. The
condition is typically over in 2 days. But it is not unusual for complete
recovery to take 3 days and sometimes longer in severe cases.
How is staph food poisoning diagnosed?
poisoning is diagnosed based on a medical history and a physical exam. Your
doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, your work and
home environments, and foods you have recently eaten and whether other people
have become ill from eating the same things. A stool culture and blood tests
may be done if your symptoms are severe or to rule out other causes.
How is it treated?
You treat staph food poisoning
by managing any complications until it passes.
Dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting is the
most common complication. Do not use medicines, including antibiotics and other
treatments, unless your doctor recommends them.