Clostridium Perfringens is a spore forming gram-positive bacterium. C. Perfringens is found in the intestines of animals and humans as well as many environmental sources. It can survive in little or no oxygen and is found on raw meat and poultry. According to the Center for Disease Control (2011), C. Perfringens is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness in the United States and causes nearly one million cases of foodborne illness each year (Center for Disease Control, 2011). People get sick because of C. Perfringens because it produces a toxin that causes illness. C. Perfringens creates spores that can live in high temperatures and those spores germinate when temperatures are between 68-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If food is served without reheating to the proper temperatures live bacteria may be eaten.
Clostridium Perfringens is common in beef, poultry, gravies, and dried or pre-cooked foods. “The actual cause of C. Perfringens is temperature abuse of prepared foods. Small numbers of the organisms are present after cooking but multiply to food poisoning levels during cool down and storage” (EDIS, 2012). It often happens when food is prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time (Center for Disease Control, 2011).
On November 19th, 1995 in Sacramento, California there was an outbreak of Clostridium Perfringens at a juvenile detention facility after eating their holiday thanksgiving meal on November 18th. They believe it to be the mishandling of food served at that holiday meal. Out of 250 residents and staff around 100 reported symptoms during the next eight hours. The residents and staff that did not get sick were at a special event that was held that day, and they ate a barbeque lunch instead. They gave a questionnaire to a random group of residents and staff members detailing their symptoms and food items eaten. In the results, 65% of the people who filled out the questionnaire reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness. 100%...
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