Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

Common pathogens attributed to food poisoning include Norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.

Incubation periods depend on the cause, and range from a few hours to days. The clinical presentation associated with food poisoning varies, but typical symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

Staphylococcal food poisoning

Pathogen: Staphylococcus aureus
Gram-positive bacterium
Some strains produce heat-stable enterotoxins that cause staphylococcal food poisoning.  
Transmission: ingestion of preformed toxins in contaminated food

Characteristics

Typically involves a short latency period; resolution of symptoms after 24–48 hours
Bacteria proliferate in inadequately refrigerated food (canned meats, mayonnaise/potato salad, custards).

Incubation period: 1–4 hours

Clinical findings: nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea
 

Bacillus cereus infection


Pathogen: Bacillus cereus, a heat-stable, spore-forming  bacterium that produces two different enterotoxins

Transmission: The bacterium grows in heated food that cools down too slowly or is improperly refrigerated. Reheated rice is a common source of infection.

Incubation period and clinical findings

Enterotoxin I (emetic form): 30 min to 6 h after ingestion → nausea and vomiting
Enterotoxin II (diarrheal form): 6–15 h after ingestion → watery diarrhea for 24–48 h
 
Food poisoning from reheated rice - (B. cereus).

Related Questions Epidemiology

Food Poisoning

Common pathogens attributed to food poisoning include Norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.

Incubation periods depend on the cause, and range from a few hours to days. The clinical presentation associated with food poisoning varies, but typical symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

Staphylococcal food poisoning

Pathogen: Staphylococcus aureus
Gram-positive bacterium
Some strains produce heat-stable enterotoxins that cause staphylococcal food poisoning.  
Transmission: ingestion of preformed toxins in contaminated food

Characteristics

Typically involves a short latency period; resolution of symptoms after 24–48 hours
Bacteria proliferate in inadequately refrigerated food (canned meats, mayonnaise/potato salad, custards).

Incubation period: 1–4 hours

Clinical findings: nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea
 

Bacillus cereus infection


Pathogen: Bacillus cereus, a heat-stable, spore-forming  bacterium that produces two different enterotoxins

Transmission: The bacterium grows in heated food that cools down too slowly or is improperly refrigerated. Reheated rice is a common source of infection.

Incubation period and clinical findings

Enterotoxin I (emetic form): 30 min to 6 h after ingestion → nausea and vomiting
Enterotoxin II (diarrheal form): 6–15 h after ingestion → watery diarrhea for 24–48 h
 
Food poisoning from reheated rice - (B. cereus).