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Int J Food Microbiol. 1989 Dec;9(4):327-60.

Present state of knowledge on staphylococcal intoxication.

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616.


Globally, staphylococcal intoxication remains a very common food poisoning. In this review, emphasis is being placed on epidemiological aspects of the problem and the effect of food environment on the survival and growth of staphylococci and production of enterotoxins. The high prevalence of staphylococci in raw foods of animal origin requires effective processing for safety. Man remains a major reservoir for post-process recontamination. The effect of the intrinsic characteristics of foods (pH, water activity, Eh, preservatives competing microbial flora, natural food) and extrinsic parameters of processing and storage (temperature, freezing, irradiation, dehydration, packaging, humidity) on staphylococcal survival, growth and enterotoxin production has been evaluated extensively. While staphylococci can be destroyed easily the enterotoxins can survive practically all food processing. While extreme levels of intrinsic variables can control enterotoxin production, yet the environment of most foods is conductive to staphylococcal growth. Rapid food cooling, refrigeration and consumer, food handler and processor education remain the key to staphylococcal food poisoning prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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