Staph

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Staphylococcus
• What is the infectious agent that causes this infectious disease?
Staphylococcus is caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus aureus and is commonly referred to as “Staph”. Staphylococcus aureus is a spherical bacterium (coccus) which usually is seen in pairs, short chains, or in bunches, much like grape clusters. This bacterium is Gram-positive, which is the being of bacteria relating to a bacterium that retains the violet stain used in Gram’s Method. The bacterium also is capable of producing a heat-stable protein toxin that can cause illness. The infection can range from minor discomfort to life threatening. There are many different types of staph bacteria, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Golden Staph, which is the most common cause of staph infections. Each infection is slightly different, because of the mutation of the bacteria, but the symptoms and causes of staph are easily identified.
• How is this infectious agent transmitted through food or water?
Staphylococcus aureus can be spread from lack of hand washing during food preparation. Hands can contaminate food, which can lead to food poisoning. By preparing food while having a nose or eye infection, preparing or serving food for others while having wounds or skin infections on wrists or hands, and storing foods improperly can cause “staph” to be spread during food preparation. Hot foods should be kept hot (over 140 °F) and cold foods should be kept cold (40 °F or under). It is important to keep kitchens and food-serving areas clean and sanitized and store cooked food in a wide et shallow container, placing it in a refrigerator as soon as possible. Following the above ideas can help prevent the spreading of staphylococcal food poisoning.
• What is an example of a real life outbreak of this food borne illness in the United States?
There was an…...

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