Clostridium perfringens gastroenteritis is an illness caused by the Clostridium perfringens bacteria. It is a spore-forming bacteria that is found in several environmental sources as well as in the intestines of humans and animals. It is commonly found on raw meat and poultry, and prefers to grow in conditions with very little or no oxygen, and can multiply very rapidly. Some strains of the bacteria can produce a toxin in the intestine that causes illness. It is estimated that this bacteria causes over 1 million illness a year.
The symptoms of this illness are: diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours (typically 8-12). The illness usually begins very suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours. Persons infected usually do not have a fever or vomiting. The illness is not able to be passed from one person to another.
The most common foods associated with this bacteria are: beef, poultry, gravies, and dried or pre-cooked foods.
Prevention methods for this illness include:
1. Cool and reheat foods correctly.
2. Hold food at the correct temperatures.
3. Control time and temperature.
If you have any questions about anything that I present in these lessons, or have a question about anything regarding food safety, please feel free to contact me.
Tomorrow's lesson: What is Botulism (Clostridium botulinum bacteria)?