Clostridium Perfringens Illness- One Million People affected every Year
This illness one that is not known widely by the general public- but astonishingly the in the US alone it causes almost 1 million cases of food poisoning a year
Clostridium Perfringens- What Is It?
Clostridium Perfringens is a bacteria which grows when large pots and containers of food are not kept from the danger zone of 40 degrees to 140 degrees F
Restaurants, nursing homes and large parties of diners are usually the sources of this type of outbreak
Where is the Bacteria Found?
Usually the bacteria is found on poultry and raw meat- and breeds in the intestines of people and animals
What Are the Symptoms?
The disease has a very fast onset- normally after a few hours of exposure. Unlike many other forms of food poisoning it does not cause fever or vomiting- the main symptom is diarrhoea.
A typical outbreak- as happened in the US recently- was due to the bacteria germinating in gravy which had not been properly stored- leading to nearly 260 people being affected. Another outbreak caused 25 people to be affected with 3 being fatalities
How Can Clostridium Perfringens be avoided?
As is usual with food poisoning the important thing is for people who prepare food to be aware of the dangers.
The key preventative measures that can be taken are as follows:
- Leftover foods should be refrigerated as soon as possible
- Always put left over food in small containers with different food kept separately
- All leftover food when it is reheated should be to at least 165F before eating
- Check all temperatures of food with a reliable thermometer
- When in doubt if a food is safe- throw it out. The cost of the food you are throwing out will be much less than the medical treatment necessary for any foodborne illness.