About Staphylococcus Aureus

What is Staphylococcus aureus?

The presence of infectious pathogens can pose significant risks in our daily lives but especially when it comes to food safety.  Staphylococcus aureus is one such pathogen that has long been responsible for foodborne illness and is a bacterium responsible for sickening many consumers in the last few years.  Let’s explore what Staphylococcus aureus is, how it can impact food safety, and what measures can be taken to mitigate its risks.

Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive bacterium that is commonly found not only on the skin and in the noses of healthy people, but also in raw food and food-producing animals. Staphylococcus aureus can cause severe illness, particularly in those suffering from cancer, diabetes, eczema, lung disease, and IV drug users.

How is Staphylococcus aureus transmitted?

Staphylococcus aureus can be transmitted a variety of ways including direct contact with an infected person, touching one’s face or mouth after touching a contaminated object, from airborne transmission, and often in healthcare settings.  

Under certain environmental conditions, Staphylococcus aureus produces a toxin, called enterotoxin.  Depending on the levels of enterotoxin, eating enterotoxin-contaminated food can cause severe illness.  Dairy, and other animal-based foods, may carry Staphylococcus aureus but typically infection occurs from unsafe food handling, such as keeping contaminated food at incorrect temperatures.

What are the symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus?

Symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus infection may include nausea, gastrointestinal distress, and vomiting.  Although not as common, symptoms can also include diarrhea and fever.

Symptoms may begin to present quickly, as soon as one hour after infection but may take up to six hours before illness is felt.

How is Staphylococcus aureus treated?

Prompt medical attention is crucial if infection is suspected, as early diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.   Treatment differs depending on the type of infection.  Skin-based Staphylococcus infections, commonly referred to as “staph’ infections, are typically treated with antibiotics and draining of the wound.  Surgery may be required in extreme cases.  For Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning, rehydrating with fluids is typically recommended although doctors may sometimes prescribe antibiotics to aid in recovery.

How can you avoid Staphylococcus aureus?

As with other cases of food poisoning, proper hygiene and healthy habits during meal preparation can dramatically decrease the likelihood of foodborne Staphylococcus aureus, including but not limited to:

  • Stay informed of food recalls on sites like www.fda.gov or Food Poisoning News and promptly dispose of any contaminated products.
  • Eat cooked food quickly and don’t allow it to sit at room temperature, otherwise, refrigerate or freeze any food that is not to be immediately eaten.
  • Any previously cooked food that has been frozen should only be thawed in the refrigerator

Food poisoning from Staphylococcus aureus is rarely fatal but nonetheless can be an extremely uncomfortable experience for those infected.  In 2014, a Staphylococcus aureus lawsuit was settled on behalf of three claimants who contracted the bacteria from contaminated food.

By understanding the risks associated with this pathogen and implementing appropriate preventive measures, consumers can help ensure not only their safety, but also the health and well-being of their loved ones.

Seek medical attention

If you have a fever over 102 degrees, bloody stool, or other severe symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.

Legal Assistance?

Ron Simon and Tony Coveny are national food poisoning lawyers whose sole practice is to assist victims of food poisoning caused by someone else’s negligence, or simply their contaminated food. Many victims may be entitled to financial compensation through a food poisoning claim or lawsuit.

Tags :
Share :
Related Post :

Leave a Reply

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


Free Case Evaluation