Staphylococcus aureus classification;
Gender: Staphylococcus (staphylo = bunch of grapes)
Variety: aureus (gold coloured)
Staphylococcus aureus is usually found in the nose, on the skin or in the throat of healthy people and animals. About 30 percent of people are carriers of the bacteria, but the majority are not affected by it. The bacteria mainly spreads through the hands, but can also be transmitted through the air, clothing, bedding or toys.
Foods that undergo many steps during preparation and foods that are kept at slightly elevated temperatures are regularly involved in Staphylococcus aureus poisoning. Some products are particularly suitable for the growth of this germ and the subsequent toxin production:
- protein-rich products: milk, cream, ice cream;
- salty meat products (low Aw): ham, sausage, patties;
- opened cans: no competing micro-organisms.
Staphylococcus aureus can be dangerous to humans in two ways. First of all, the bacteria can cause various skin infections. In addition, the bacteria can be the cause of food poisoning. In the case of food poisoning, the symptoms appear within 2 to 6 hours. The most common complaints are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (no fever).
In more severe cases, symptoms such as headache, muscle cramps and temporary changes in blood pressure and heart rate also occur. Recovery usually takes 2 days and even longer in more severe cases.
All groups are susceptible to Staphylococcus aureus.
The toxins of Staphylococcus aureus cannot be made ineffective by heating food, for example by cooking. It is therefore important to prevent the bacteria from ending up on food, such as good (personal) hygiene and keeping food sufficiently cold or warm.
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