Ingestion of food is the major way for human beings to obtain nutrient substances for basic living, and therefore, the quality and safety of food is a major concern. Foodborne illness includes any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated food that contains pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or chemical or natural toxins. Consequently, food safety is considered to be a globally expanding issue and thus a leading topic in public health, no longer limited to foodborne illnesses but extended to nearly every safety issue regarding “farm to table” food approaches. Bacterial foodborne infections occur by ingestion of food contaminated with growth of pathogenic bacteria, toxin production, and continuous bacterial growth in intestines. In the past decade, a large number of cases or reports have been available on food containing unhealthy, harmful, or toxic substances (other than food poisoning outbreaks) worldwide. Foodborne microorganisms, primarily associated with pathogenic bacteria and toxic substances produced in food, have presented major challenges for food safety. As a global foodborne pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus is typically capable of causing a large number of infections, including food poisoning. Thus, this chapter aims to review several factors contributing to the rise of staphylococci as a growing concern for the food safety industry, including the growth of S. aureus, production and regulation of staphylococcal enterotoxins, the viable putative but nonculturable (VPNC) state, and antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus caused by the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in both clinical and veterinary settings.
Part of the book: Significance, Prevention and Control of Food Related Diseases