Staphylococcus is a group of bacteria that can cause a number of diseases as a result of infection of various tissues of the body. Staphylococcus is more familiarly known as staph (pronounced "staff"). Staph-related illness can range from mild and requiring no treatment to severe and potentially fatal. Common symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning include: a rapid onset which is usually 1–8 hours, nausea, explosive vomiting for up to 24 hours, abdominal cramps/pain, headache, weakness, diarrhea and usually a subnormal body temperature. Symptoms usually start one to six hours after eating and last less than 12 hours.
The ability of this organism to produce enterotoxins is linked to staphylococcal food poisoning. Staphylococcal enterotoxins are low molecular weight proteins, highly resistant to heat and proteolytic enzyme activity. The proportion of CC398 of all MRSA in humans was far lower in Finland (0.09%) than in the Netherlands (30% in 2007).