Background: Staphylococcus aureus strains are now regarded as zoonotic agents. In pastoral settings where human-animal interaction is intimate, multi-drug resistant microorganisms have become an emerging zoonotic issue of public health concern. The study of S. aureus prevalence, antimicrobial resistance and clonal lineages in humans, animals and food in African settings has great relevance, taking into consideration the high diversity of ethnicities, cultures and food habits that determine the lifestyle of the people. Little is known about milk carriage of methicillin resistant S. aureus strains (MRSA) and their virulence factors in Uganda. Here, we present the prevalence of MRSA in bulk can milk and raw milk products in pastoral communities of south-west Uganda. We also present PFGE profiles, spa-types, as well as frequency of enterotoxins genes. Methods: S. aureus was identified by the coagulase test, susceptibility testing by the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion and E-test methods and MRSA by detection of the mecA gene and SCCmec types. The presence of Panton - Valentine Leucocidin (PVL) genes and staphylococcal enterotoxins was determined by PCR, while genotyping was by PFGE and spa typing. Results: S. aureus were isolated from 30/148 (20.3%) milk and 11/91(12%) sour milk samples. mecA gene carriage, hence MRSA, was detected in 23/41 (56.1%) of the isolates, with 21 of the 23 (91.3%) being SCCmec type V; while up to 30/41 (73.2%) of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline. Only five isolates carried the PVL virulence gene, while PFGE typing revealed ten clusters (ranging from two seven isolates each) that comprised 83% of the sample, and only eight isolates with unique pulsotypes. The largest PFGE profile (E) consisted of seven isolates while t7753, t1398, and t2112 were the most common spa-types. Thirty seven of the 41 strains (90.2%) showed at least one of the eight enterotoxin genes tested, with sem 29 (70.7%), sei 25 (61%) and seg 21 (51.2%) being the most frequently observed genes. Conclusion: This is the first study to demonstrate MRSA and enterotoxin genes in raw milk and its products in Uganda. The fact that over 90% of the isolates carried at least one gene encoding enterotoxins shows a high risk of spread of foodborne diseases through milk in this setting. © 2017 The Author(s).