The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 1, Issue 10, pp 424–429 | Cite as

Staphylococcal Gastroenteritis

Report of a major outbreak
  • Harry Wain
  • Paul A. Blackstone


A major outbreak of food poisoning, which assumed the proportions of a community disaster by causing the acute illness of 244 people, presented the typical symptoms and clinical picture of a staphylococcal gastroenteritis.

The offending food was the baked ham from which positive cultures forStaphylococcus aureuswere obtained by two separate laboratories.

It is important to note that the baked ham presented no off-odors, tastes, or flavors. This is characteristic of staphylococcus-infected foods.

The baked ham was seeded withStaphylococcus aureus from the self-contaminated hands of the man who did the deboning. Laboratory cultures demonstratedStaphylococcus aureus in acne lesions on the man's face, in the the ham, and in scrapings taken from the table on which the hams were deboned.

The staphylococci organisms were given the necessary time and temperature range in which to grow and produce enterotoxin in the sliced ham during the period that the hams were held warm in the oven at 200° F. Additional growth and enterotoxin production occurred during the period that the hams were held without refrigeration on a 90° day at the picnic grounds.


Public Health Staphylococcus Acne Clinical Picture Refrigeration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Wain, H. Staphylococcal gastroenteritis: A brief review and report of an outbreak.Ohio State M. J. 48: December, 1952.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lawson, G. McL., andEnglar, T. S. An outbreak of food poisoning due to Staphylococcus Aureus.Virginia M. Monthly 71: 253, 1944.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hussemann, D. L., andTanner, F. W. New aspects of the food poisoning problem.J. Am. Dietet. A. 23: 16, 1947.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Grant, K. J., andMcMurray, J. An outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning.Monthly Bull. Ministry of Health, England 7: 133, 1948.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Feig, M. Staphylococcal food poisoning.Am. J. Public Health 40: March, 1950.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Feig, M. Diarrhea, dysentery, food poisoning and gastroenteritis.Am. J. Public Health 40: 1372, 1950.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dubos, R. J. Bacterial and Mycotic Infections of Man. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1948.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Laboratory report and letter to Mansfield-Richland County Health Department from The Ohio Department of Health. Sept. 26, 1955.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Paul B. Hoeber, Inc. 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Wain
    • 1
  • Paul A. Blackstone
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of HealthMansfield

Personalised recommendations