Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Nontypical Bacillus Cereus Outbreak in a Child Care Center

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Nontypical Bacillus Cereus Outbreak in a Child Care Center

Article excerpt

* Bacillus cereus belongs to a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacteria that are widely found in soil, dust, and air.

* B. cereus produces heat-stable endospores and extracellular enterotoxins as the endospores develop.

* The highly stable spores can survive temperatures up to 250[degrees]F (121[degrees]C) for 90 minutes.

* As a source of foodborne illness, B. cereus accounts for only about two percent of reported outbreaks with confirmed etiology.

* B. cereus produces two distinct clinical syndromes: diarrheal and emetic.

* The diarrheal syndrome has been associated with a wide variety of foods, including meats, sauces, gravies, and casseroles.

* The emetic syndrome has almost exclusively been associated with fried or boiled rice.

* The presence of B. cereus in raw dried grains is so common that only proper cooking, holding, and chilling of food are accepted ways of preventing foodhorne Bacillus cereus illness.

* Diagnosis of B. cereus food poisoning usually is confirmed by the isolation of [greater than or equal to][10.sup.5] organisms per gram of epidemiologically implicated food.

* On October 29, 1998, the Garland Health Department in Texas received several calls from concerned parents about a group of six ill children and an ill teacher at a church day school.

* Health department staff investigated the food served for lunch at the day school, as well as the water supply, and found no contamination. …

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