This page provides information and advice about Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria that produces a poison that causes food poisoning.
What is Clostridium perfringens?
Clostridium perfringens is a bacteria that produces a poison which causes food poisoning.
It normally takes 8-24 hours after eating the contaminated food before the symptoms develop and they may include:
- stomach pain
The illness usually lasts no longer than 12-24 hours.
How is it spread?
Clostridium perfringens bacteria spores can survive cooking if the cooking temperature is not high enough throughout the whole item of food.
The temperatures in the middle of large containers may be much lower than the outside. The centre temperatures should reach at least 70°C for 2 minutes.
Spores that are not killed will germinate when the food cools and release bacteria which will multiply - especially in warm food. If the food is not reheated to above 70°C these bacteria when eaten will turn back into spores and at the same time release the toxin that causes the food poisoning symptoms.
Outbreaks due to these bacteria are associated with large scale cooking such as that carried out in canteens, hospitals and schools.
Ensuring these types of food are thoroughly cooked, then kept above 63°C and eaten within 2 hours, or cooled with in 1½ hours of cooking and then kept at 8°C or below until eaten (within 3 days).
This type of food should only be reheated once after cooking and it must be thoroughly reheated to a minimum temperature of 70°C for at least 2 minutes.
Can I still work?
If you have vomiting or diarrhoea you should not be working in a food-handling environment. It is safe to work when the symptoms have stopped.
For further information, contact the Council or in case of continuing illness, consult your family doctor.
Tel: 01737 276417.
Last updated : 14/05/2009