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Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium found on the skin and in the nasal passages of up to 25% of healthy people and animals. S. aureus causes foodborne illness by growing in temperature abused food and producing a heat stable toxin. Consumption of this toxin (not the bacteria) can make you very sick, this is why foodborne illness caused by S. aureus is called a food intoxication.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
May 20, 2015