days, however they can last up to 7 days, with most people recovering without treatment.
Long term complications can include severe arthritic symptoms.
prevention: cook eggs and poultry thoroughly, pasteurized milk, irradiate chicken, proper hand
washing, appropriate kitchen clean up, avoid cross contamination
2. STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS:
Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium present in the nasal passages, throats and on
the hair and skin of 30-40% of healthy people and animals.
The bacteria can cause boils, pimples, other skin infections and toxic shock
syndrome. Staphylococcus aureus can also be found in the air, dust, sewage, water, milk, food or
on food equipment (e.g., meat slicers not properly cleaned), environmental surfaces.
Food handlers are usually the main source of food contamination in food poisoning outbreaks.
Contamination comes from people preparing food while they have colds / sore throats
(sneezing or coughing near food), eye infections, or infected skin cuts (important to wear
gloves). Foods at highest risk of contamination with Staphylococcus aureus and subsequent
toxin production are those that are made by hand and require no cooking.
People can pass on the Staph aureus bacteria, however people sick with the toxin are not
able to pass on the toxin to others.
Staphylococcus aureus has the ability to make seven different toxins that are frequently
responsible for food poisoning (Staph. aureus is responsible for 20-40% of all cases of food
poisoning). It is the toxin produced by the bacteria that actually causes illness. Staph. aureus
multiply rapidly at room temperature to produce toxins that are resistant to heat and cannot be
destroyed by cooking. The bacteria itself can be killed by very high heat (121°C in moist heat
for at least 15mins, dry heat – 160-170°C for at least 1 hour). It can also be killed by a sanitizing
agent. The toxins produced however are heat resistant and stable at boiling temperature, so will
not be killed by boiling a food.
Foods frequently contaminated include meats, poultry, egg products, salads/sandwich fillings
with mayonnaise (e.g., egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni), bakery products such as
cream-filled pastries, cream pies, and chocolate éclairs, and milk / milk products.
Once a person consumes food or w