Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology


Food poisoning is a phrase commonly used in reference to any foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria are of two types: (1) food infections caused by organisms such as the salmonellae which multiply and cause infections in the intestine, or (2) food intoxications caused by organisms such as staphylococci and clostridia that release a toxin into the food prior to ingestion by a susceptible person. The increasing importance of convenience foods presents problems of insuring their quality and safety, not only for the safety of the consumer; but, to protect the food industry also. Economic los s due to legal actions, bad publicity, destruction of products, and storage of large volumes of products, while slow investigations and tests, e.g. as for enterotoxins are made, can make the difference between solvency and bankruptcy for the companies. Thus a definite need exists for a rapid enterotoxin detection system. One of the two known types of bacterial food intoxications, botulism, caused by Clostridium botulinum, has been nearly eliminated through improved food processing. Staphylococcal intoxications on the other hand, still account for the largest percentage of reported foodborne outbreaks in the United States. It is difficult to estimate the number of unreported small outbreaks of this type of illness and harder still to pinpoint the actual foods involved. Convenience foods have become widely distributed throughout our country. These foods, if unsafe, could affect large segments of the population. For this reason, intense regulation has been directed at the food industry to protect the consumer. Destruction of recalled products causes economic loss. It was the purpose of this research to develop a method for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins which would be sensitive, rapid, simple to use, and capable of being fully automated. The method employed the use of 2.02 micron latex particles, specific antiserum to enterotoxin B, a model F Coulter Counter, and a 4 K Hewlett- Packard Model 98.30 computer to detect aqueous dilutions of purified enterotoxin B.

Library of Congress Subject Headings


Food poisoning

Staphylococcal infections

Latex particles

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University