Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The upcoming article sheds light on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this malady.
Staphylococcus aureus is a very common bacteria found on the skin, nose, mouth, and throat of humans and animals. This bacterium is capable of producing seven different toxins, which is why it is considered very harmful. In food, it has an incubation period of 4 to 6 hours. Sometimes, it also causes skin problems, like acne and boils. It is salt tolerant and resistant to heat. Food poisoning caused by this bacterium does not spread from person to person.
- Food products either uncooked or inadequately heated may get contaminated by this bacteria.
- Contamination is also possible through infected fingers, boils, abscesses, and purulent lesions of hand and nose.
- It multiplies in food products, like fish, dairy products, ham, poultry, bakery, and egg products if these foods are not stored in hygienic conditions.
- Stomach cramping
- General weakness
These are some of the common symptoms observed. However, in severe cases, headache, dehydration, change in blood pressure and pulse rate, and even muscle cramps may occur.
There is no medicine for staphylococcal food poisoning. Even antibiotics are not an effective remedy, because the toxins produced by these bacteria are not affected by antibiotics. This poisoning causes a brief illness. Proper rest and consumption of plenty of fluids to calm the stomach are the possible ways to overcome the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. Patients with low resistance, such as young children and elderly people are more likely to suffer severe illness, and it may require intravenous therapy and hospitalization.
- Do not store food products for more than four hours at room temperature.
- Refrigerate cooked food items as soon as possible. To store food, use shallow, uncovered containers or covered containers with vents to allow the heat to escape.
- Wash your hands and fingernails with soap and water before preparing the food, and avoid touching your face while preparing it.
- Do not let anyone with exposed skin infections, such as boils or wounds on the hands to handle the food.
- Avoid touching the food with bare hands.
- Cool and reheat the food at least once.
- Avoid cooking if you have a nose or an eye infection.
- Keep the kitchen area clean and sanitized, and serve fresh and warm food.
- If the food has to be kept for longer than two hours, then keep it either hot over 140°F or cold under 40°F.
Those who have already suffered from this food poisoning before, should try to stick to their regular diet as far as possible. Eating your normal diet will help you get maximum nutrition. Avoid eating food products that are high in fat and sugar. It is also best to avoid alcohol, spicy food, and coffee for at least 2 days after all the symptoms have disappeared.
Be careful while eating outside food because it may be contaminated with staphylococcal bacteria. Prepare and store food in hygienic conditions. Follow these simple tips, and protect yourself from food poisoning.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.