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J Infect. 1990 Jul;21(1):11-9.

Staphylococcus saprophyticus found to be a common contaminant of food.

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Department of Clinical Bacteriology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The mode of transmission of Staphylococcus saprophyticus, a urinary tract pathogen, was investigated in three related studies. The presence of this organism was sought, during a period of 1 year, in 1331 specimens of various foods, in 920 beef and pork carcasses and on 107 cultures which had been inoculated directly from abattoir workers' protective gloves. Staphylococcus saprophyticus was found to contaminate 16.4% of the various food samples with a high prevalence of 34% in raw beef and pork. It was common in both domestic and imported raw meat products. There was no seasonal variation in the presence of S. saprophyticus in the samples obtained from carcasses. The bacterium was found in 69% of all cultures from the workers' protective gloves. We conclude that S. saprophyticus, originating from slaughtered animals, contaminates food and eventually colonizes the human intestinal tract.

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