Staph aureus food poisoning

Definition of Staph aureus food poisoning

food poisoning is an illness that results from eating food contaminated with a toxin produced by the bacteria.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

food poisoning is often caused when a food handler contaminates food products that are served or stored at room- or refrigerator temperature. Common examples of such foods are desserts (especially custards and cream-filled or topped desserts), salads (especially those containing mayonnaise, such as tuna salad, potato salad, and macaroni salad), poultry and other egg products, and casseroles.


Symptoms usually appear within 1 – 6 hours after eating contaminated food. Usually, symptoms last only 2 days or less. They may include:

Signs and tests

A stool culture (if performed) is positive for .


The goal of treatment is to replace fluids and electrolytes (salt and minerals) lost by vomiting or diarrhea. Antidiarrheal medications may be used, but are often not needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Full recovery is expected. Recovery usually occurs in 24 to 48 hours.


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/15/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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