Food poisoning(see Table 1.21) This results from ingestion of food contaminated with preformed heat-stable enterotoxins A, B, C, D and E in varying combinations. Staph. aureus accounts for approximately 5% of all food poisoning in the UK. Contamination is usually from an infected individual. Foodstuffs such as canned food, processed meats, milk and cheese favour the growth of Staph. aureus. The illness is manifest within six hours of ingestion of contaminated food and affects virtually all individuals who have eaten such food. In contrast to food poisoning that is due to other organisms, staphylococcal food poisoning is characterized by the presence of persistent vomiting. Fever, when present, is usually below 38°C. Abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea or dysentery may be present. No specific treatment is necessary as the illness usually lasts just 12–24 hours; however, supportive treatment with fluids and electrolytes is occasionally indicated.