An outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning in a commercially catered buffet

Alexis Pillsbury, May Chiew, John Bates, Vicky Sheppeard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Staphylococcal food poisoning is a common cause of foodborne illness. In Australia, since 2000, approximately 30% of foodborne Staphylococcus aureus outbreaks reported to OzFoodNet have been associated with foods prepared by commercial caterers. We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness among participants of an elite sporting event during which 22 individuals became ill after eating a commercially catered buffet dinner in June 2012. All recalled eating fried rice which had been intended for lunch service earlier that day and 20 of the 22 reported eating chicken stir-fry. Though no food samples were available for analysis, laboratory analysis conducted on four faecal specimens resulted in S. aureus being cultured from one specimen and S. aureus enterotoxin detected in another. The known epidemiology of staphylococcal food poisoning suggests a food contaminated by an infected food handler which was subject to temperature abuse may have caused the outbreak. As S. aureus foodborne outbreaks are often underreported, this investigation is a valuable contribution to the evidence-base and understanding of foodborne illness due to S. aureus and staphylococcal enterotoxin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E144-E148
JournalCommunicable diseases intelligence quarterly report
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'An outbreak of staphylococcal food poisoning in a commercially catered buffet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this