The nature of food poisoning

Food poisoning is an excellent topic because it leads you to discover the nature of the microbes behind it. Food poisoning is not a single type of occurence. The multi-faceted phenomenon entails a wide variety of microbes, each with their own ecological qurks.

Bacillus cereus is a species of bacteria that defies some of the commonest advice that you hear about how to avoid food poisoning. If enough of these Bacillus cereus bacteria grow on your food successfully, then even proper cooking won’t save you from harm. You can kill the bacteria with heat, but it might be too late – if they have already laced your food with potent toxins.

Re-heated food is often where B cereus will cause harm, but it’s the storage conditions which are crucial.

“The spores of some species (especially Bacillus cereus and the ‘Bacillus subtilis ‘ group) survive cooking and can subsequently germinate and grow under favourable conditions, particularly those in warm kitchens.” (from HPA website)

Nursing Schools blog article: www.nursingschools.net/blog/2011/05/the-12-most-common-causes-of-food-poisoning

UK NHS… intro: Intro: nhs.uk/conditions/food-poisoning and causes: nhs.uk/Conditions/Food-poisoning/Pages/Causes

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