Facebook Pixel

Bacillus cereus

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
Rate This

Bacillus cereus

B. cereus food poisoning is the general description of two recognized types of illness- a diarrheal type and a vomiting (emetic) type.

What are the symptoms of B. cereus food poisoning?

The symptoms of B. cereus diarrheal type food poisoning mimic those of Clostridium perfringens food poisoning. The onset of watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain occurs 6-15 hours after consumption of contaminated food. Nausea may accompany diarrhea, but vomiting (emesis) rarely occurs. Symptoms persist for 24 hours in most instances.

The emetic type of food poisoning is characterized by nausea and vomiting within 0.5 to 6 hours after consumption of contaminated foods. Occasionally, abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea may also occur. Duration of symptoms is generally less than 24 hours. The symptoms of this type of food poisoning parallel those caused by Staphylococcus aureus foodborne intoxication.

What foods are associated with B. cereus food poisoning?

A wide variety of foods including meats, milk, vegetables, and fish have been associated with the diarrheal type food poisoning. The vomiting-type outbreaks have generally been associated with rice products. However, other starchy foods such as potato, pasta and cheese products have also been implicated. Food mixtures such as sauces, puddings, soups, casseroles, pastries, and salads have frequently been incriminated in food poisoning outbreaks.

How serious is B. cereus food poisoning?

Although no specific complications have been associated with the diarrheal and vomiting toxins produced by B. cereus , other clinical manifestations of B. cereus invasion or contamination have been observed. They include bovine mastitis, severe systemic and pyogenic infections, gangrene, septic meningitis, cellulitis, panophthalmitis, lung abscesses, infant death, and endocarditis.

Who is susceptible to B. cereus food poisoning?

All people are believed to be susceptible to B. cereus food poisoning.


Food and Drug Administration

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Food Poisoning

Get Email Updates

Food Poisoning Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!