Emergency Pathogen Control – Bacillus Cereus

 Factory Clean

Targeting Bacillus Cereus

Contact our emergency cleaning team by emailing [email protected].

Bacillus cereus is a spore forming bacterium that produces toxins that cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Symptoms are generally mild and short-lived (up to 24 hours). B. cereus is commonly found in the environment (e.g. soil) as well as a variety of foods. Spores are able to survive harsh environments including normal cooking temperatures.

Role in Food Processing

Bacillus Cereus produces toxins and extra cellular products; lectithinase,proteases, beta – lactamase, sphingomyelinanase, cerolysin and haemolysin BL.

The diarrheagenic syndrome is produced by a combination of these.

This spore forming bacteria is causing an increasing number of cases of food poisoning mainly due to rice from take-away food premises.

A wide variety of foods including meats, milk, vegetables, and fish have been associated with the diarrhoea type Bacillus cereus food poisoning.

A large outbreak of food poisoning in Hungary was due to contaminated spices in meat products.

  • pH:  4.7 – 9.2  Optimum 6.0 – 8.5
  • Temperature: Minimum  5oC, Optimum Growth 37oC to 45oC
  • Toxins produced between 6oC  and 21oC

Found in intestinal tract of humans and other animals

Also found in soils, water, food, dust and spices

Check crates for biofilm, cleanliness, sanitation and rotation

Check hand washing – see S.Aureus

Pay particular attention to slaughter areas, evisceration and offal areas

Minimise cross contamination by enforcing colour coding, if relevant to your operation

Acid Wash – This should be used in all cases of Pathogen or high bacterial counts.

It removes scale, which is a base for biofilms.

It will aid removal of biofilms.

The acidic environment will at least inhibit, if not halt the growth of bacteria.

If followed by standard alkaline wash, the resultant pH shock will again kill off most bacteria, and at least severely inhibit growth.

The alternative sanitizer (prescribed as part of acid wash), will at least inhibit, if not halt the growth of bacteria.


Movement of staff and materials between slaughter and other departments.

Monitor crates and lugs with extra swabbing.

Review production facility swab results


Modern Food Microbiology

Staph. Aureus – for hand washing guide.

EXAMPLE Procedure

Emergency Pathogen Cleaning

Bacillus Cereus

Clostridium Perfringens


Staphylococcus Aureus

Campylobacter Jejuni

Escherichia Coli


EXAMPLE Procedure

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