Bacillus Cereus

Analytical testing dots

Bacillus cereus is a Gram-positive, aerobic or facultative anaerobic bacterium that is commonly found in soil, vegetable, and food. It is capable of forming endospores that can cause food-borne illness. The toxins of these endospores can cause two different types of food poisoning to humans, which are diarrheal type and emetic type. The diarrheal type is caused by the enterotoxins produce by the growth of bacteria in the small intestines. The emetic type, characterized by nausea and vomiting, is due to the emetic toxins produced by the bacterial cells in the food.

B. cereus can be easily contracted in food that are held without adequate refrigerating before serving or are left at room temperature for a long period. It is the cause of “fried rice syndrome”, as it grows in uncooked rice and can survive the steaming and cooking process. Food that is improperly cooked could also be infected with this bacteria. Its spores can survive and germinate in cooking temperature of below or equal to 100 ºC. If cooked food are not consumed directly after cooking and are not kept accordingly, the spores then can germinate, allowing the growth of the bacteria.