Bacillus cereus is a bacterium that likes oxygen (an aerobe). Naturally, it derives joy in infecting grains especially rice.
It is classified bacteriologically as a gram positive bacterium.
It is among the group of bacteria that form spores.
A spore is a form which some bacteria or other organisms change to when the environment become unfavourable for the main form. Spore can be resistant to heat, chemicals, etc. For this reason, they can last longer than their vegetative counterparts.
When conditions return to normal, the spores change back to their vegetative forms.
When the spore infects rice, it can stay there and survive heat when the food is not cooked properly. The spore germinates and produces a toxin that causes a problem in the body when the improperly cooked food is kept down to be cooled very slowly.
Within few hours of eating, the consumer starts noticing some symptoms.
Two types of toxins are basically produced in most cases:
One causes tries to induce vomiting while another causes diarrhoea, abdominal pain, etc.
Depending on the kind of toxin released by the bacterium, a sufferer may suffer Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Abdominal cramp, Lack of appetite, etc.
The symptoms presented are mainly the best way to treat this infection. This means that you get rid of it through the treatment of the individual symptoms.
The disease is called Fried Rice Syndrome because it basically infects rice through the processes of its preparations.
The organism can also infect meat, milk and other food products too.
Foods should be properly cooked and if possible should be refrigerated when not in use.
There is no vaccine available yet to prevent this disease on carefulness can.
Bacillus cereus is jokingly remembered using Be Serious.
Until next time, do take care.
©JOEL KOSISO (JOELSCO)