Sunday, December 12, 2021

History of Staphylococcal food poisoning

The first documented event of Staphylococcal food poisoning due to the consumption of contaminated cheese was investigated by Vaughan and Sternberg in Michigan, USA, in 1884.

Ten years later, J. Denys in 1894 concluded that the illness of a family who had consumed meat from a cow that had died of vitullary fever was owing to the presence of pyogenic staphylococci.

In 1907, Owen recovered staphylococci from dried beef involved in an outbreak showing characteristics of Staphylococcal food poisoning symptomatology.
Proof of the involvement of staphylococci in food poisoning was first brought in 1914 by M. A Barber who discovered that a toxin substance produced by staphylococci was responsible for staphylococcal food poisoning. Barber was the first scientist to relate staphylococcal food poisoning to a toxic substance produced in food. He isolated staphylococci from contaminated milk that came from a cow with mastitis.

In 1922, Baerthlein reported a huge outbreak involving 2000 soldiers of the German army during World War I and established possible role of bacteria.

B Gail Dack in 1929 rediscovered the role of staphylococci in food poisoning. He studied an outbreak of food poisoning caused by an X-mas cake.

Today, it is well established that food poisoning caused by staphylococci is a foodborne intoxication, with staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) as etiologic agents.
History of Staphylococcal food poisoning