Bacillus cereus is a bacteria. It is one of the Major Foodborne Diseases – This pathogen causes 2 types of illnesses. The first type occurs, after the ingestion of contaminated food, the bacteria release toxins in the intestines.
Bacillus Cereus Bacteria
Bacillus cereus is one of the Major Foodborne Diseases – This pathogen causes 2 types of illnesses. The first type occurs, after the ingestion of contaminated food, the bacteria release toxins in the intestines. Hence, the symptoms are diarrhea and cramps. The second type of poisoning is when the bacteria release toxins in the food. In this case, the symptoms are nausea and vomiting. The second type is often linked to starchy food. Both illnesses are mild and go away by themselves. Complications are very rare. However, a manifestation of complications have been observed, and they include sever pyogenic (puss) infection, septic meningitis, and endocarditis.
Mode of transmission and Symptoms
Transmission & Reservoirs
All people are susceptible to Bacillus cereus infection, but most at risk are children up to 4 years old. Elderly, and immunocompromised people are also at higher risk.
Keep Clean: Wash your hands before, during and after handling food. Wash utensils, cutting boards, and any surfaces that food touches after each use. Wash fruits and veggies—but not meat, poultry, or eggs.
Separate Raw and Cooked: Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils for raw (uncooked) produce and for raw (uncooked) meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods while shopping and in the refrigerator.
Cook Thoroughly and Keep Food at Safe Temperature: Only a food thermometer can make sure meat, poultry, fish, and casseroles are cooked to a safe internal temperature. For example, internal temperatures should be 145°F or 63°C for whole meats (allow the meat to rest after cooking for 3 minutes at least) and fish, 160°F or 71°C for ground meats, and 165°F or 74°C for all poultry. Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.
Chill: Use appliance thermometers to be sure your refrigerator is at or below 40ºF or 4°C and your freezer is 0ºF (-17.78°C) or below. Between 40ºF or 4°C and 140ºF or 60°, C is the Danger Zone, when bacteria can multiply rapidly. Generally, the more bacteria, the more likely someone will get sick. Most refrigerators have just a colder/ warmer adjustment, so the only way to know is to put a thermometer inside.
Use Safe Water and Raw Material: Always use safe water or treat it before use. Use wholesome and fresh materials. Do not confuse best before date with an expiry date. Best Before is linked to the quality of food and its taste. Buying food after best before date does not mean it is poisonous. On the other hand, expiration date is about the safety of the product and it is for warning consumers not to eat it.
The following information is an extract from the World Health Organization (2008). Foodborne Disease Outbreaks: Guidelines for Investigation and Control. Geneva, Switzerland, 2008