Food Born Illnesses - Clostridium Perfringens

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Clostridium Perfringens (C. Perfringens) are an amazingly tenacious spore-forming bacterium which is found naturally in the intestines of humans and animals, as well as other environmental sources which cause foodborne illness or food poisoning. This bacterium is anaerobic, meaning it requires little to no oxygen to thrive. C Perfrngens releases toxins and when consumed in large quantities, cause illness. They are classified into five types based on the ability to produce one or more type of toxins. Types A, most common, and C are pathogenic to humans and animals. (PHAoC, 2011) C. Perfringes has two stages; dormant and vegetative, or live. The stages indicate the whether or not the bacterium is growing and causing greater illness risk. Clostridium Perfringens are the third most common pathogen leading to domestically acquired foodborne illnesses at almost one million cases each year (CDC, Food Safety, 2011) .

Clostridium Perfringens which lead to illness are commonly found in food sources such as gravies, dried or precooked foods, beef, and poultry. Food prepared in large quantities and kept warm for long periods of time before serving are more likely to cause an outbreak. Locations at risk include schools, prisons, hospitals, and even catering events. While Clostridium Perfringens are not transferred between humans, there are transmission risks between humans and animals for types A & C. Due to the nature and existing C. Perfringens in the intestines, everyone is susceptible to food poisoning from these bacteria.
While exact amounts which cause illness are not exact, it is stated that the ingestion of food containing 10^8 or more viable vegetative C. Perfringens are cause for food poisoning. (PHAoC, 2011) Young and elderly are most at risk for this illness, with complications significantly fewer in those under 30.

Preventing growth of the spores are…...

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