SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

Information for Patients

Staphylococcal food poisoning
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Staphylococcal food poisoning

Contributors: Meera Mohan MD, Senu Apewokin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Staphylococcal food poisoning results from inoculation of toxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the nostrils of up to 25% of healthy humans. Toxin from this organism is elaborated in food such as custards, potato salad, and processed meat. Even if the bacteria are killed by warming, the heat-stable toxin remains intact. Symptoms of food poisoning are usually rapid and occur within 1-6 hours of eating contaminated food.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Hypotension and dehydration can occur in severe infection. The rapid onset of symptoms, lack of fever, and epidemic nature of the presentation can be indicators of staphylococcal food poisoning. Ingestion of potentially contaminated foods (examples above) also provides clues for consideration of this disease. Symptoms generally resolve within 8-10 hours. Treatment is entirely supportive.


A05.0 – Foodborne staphylococcal intoxication

84622004 – Food poisoning due to staphylococcus

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

To perform a comparison, select diagnoses from the classic differential

Subscription Required

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Updated:03/03/2024
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Patient Information for Staphylococcal food poisoning
Print E-Mail Images (1)
Contributors: Medical staff writer
Premium Feature
VisualDx Patient Handouts
Available in the Elite package
  • Improve treatment compliance
  • Reduce after-hours questions
  • Increase patient engagement and satisfaction
  • Written in clear, easy-to-understand language. No confusing jargon.
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Print out or email directly to your patient
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Staphylococcal food poisoning
A medical illustration showing key findings of Staphylococcal food poisoning : Abdominal pain, Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal cramp, Contaminated food exposure, Dehydration, Developed rapidly , Tachycardia
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.