Food Poisoning BActeria CIEH Level 3.4


source – human and animal intestines, raw foods of animal origin.

food commonly involved – meat, poultry,eggs, milk

symptoms of infection – fever, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea (often watery and sometimes bloody) and vomiting

onset time – 12–72 hrs but typically 12–36 hours

Facultative anaerobes

cause of illness – large numbers of the bacteria living in food (infective dose >100,000 organisms/gram of food)

control measures: – separation of raw and high-risk foods and work area – thorough cleaning and disinfection – thorough thawing and cooking of poultry and meat – good personal hygiene – effective pest control

Clostridium perfringens

Source – human and animal intestines, soil, dust, flies, raw meat and poultry

Food commonly involved – meat and root vegetables (potatoes, carrots)

Symptoms – abdominal pain and diarrhoea, but rarely vomiting

Onset time – 8–22 hrs

Clostridium perfringens

Anaerobic bacterium/forms spores and an endotoxin

cause of illness – an endotoxin – bacteria multiply rapidly, usually in meat that is cooked – slowly or stored at ambient temperature – spores form in adverse conditions – spores regenerate into bacteria – toxins released when bacteria die in host’s intestines – infective dose 1,000,000 organisms/gram of food

control measures: – strict temperature control – separation of raw and cooked foods – regular removal of all dirt from food areas – careful washing of vegetables

Staphylococcus aureus

source – humans and raw milk

foods commonly involved – milk, cream, cooked meats

symptoms – acute vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea

onset time – 1–7 hrs

Staphylococcus aureus

Facultative anaerobe/salt tolerant/produces an exotoxin

cause of illness – heat resistant exotoxin produced by bacteria as they multiply on food

control measures: good personal hygiene and especially – hand-washing – storage under refrigeration – effective food hygiene

Bacillus cereus

sources – cereals, soil, dust, vegetation and spices

Emetic illness – caused by exotoxin (associated with cooked rice)

symptoms – nausea and vomiting

onset time – 1–5 hours

Diarrhoeal illness – caused by endotoxin (associated with meat, milk, fish)

symptoms – diarrhoea and abdominal pain

onset time – 8–16 hrs

Bacillus cereus

Aerobic spore-forming bacterium that produces a toxin

cause of illness – one of two types of toxin: exotoxin that is released in the food before it is consumed – causes nausea and vomiting

cause of illness – one of two types of toxin: endotoxin that is released in the intestinal tract – causes diarrhoea and abdominal pain

control measures: thorough cooking and rapid cooling of food – storage under refrigeration – avoidance of reheating – preventing cross contamination

Clostridium botulinum

source – soil, marine sediments, fish and meat

food commonly involved – canned salmon, smoked fish, vacuum-packed meat, bottled vegetables

symptoms – diarrhoea and vomiting followed by paralysis of nervous system, fatalities common

onset time – 12–36 hrs

Clostridium botulinum

Anaerobic spore-forming bacterium / produces a heat-sensitive neurotoxin

cause of illness – neurotoxin produced by the bacteria as it multiplies in the food

control measures: high standards in preservation of food e.g. canning (‘botulinum cook’), bottling, vacuum packing - inspecting cans and contents before use – avoiding eating raw and fermented fish in certain parts of world


Created with images by skeeze - "salmonella bacteria macro" • NIAID - "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)"

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