Bacillus cereus

Spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, aerobic to facultative aerobe, proteolytic.

Saprophytic aerobic Gram-positive spore-bearing bacillus, shorter than B. anthracis. Found often in milk and cream, causing a failed methylene blue test.

A gram-positive spore forming food pathogen that causes two types of food poisoning syndromes: emesis and diarrhea. Type 1, the emetic syndrome, is caused by the production of a heat-stable cereulide (a small, heat-stable dodecadepsipeptide), which can damage the host cell mitochondria and in rare cases cause liver damage. Foods containing large amounts of rice are more likely to cause the type 1 syndrome. The emetic toxin may not be destroyed by brief cooking. Type 2, the diarrheal syndrome, is caused by production of the heat-labile enterotoxins hemolysin BL and nonhemolytic enterotoxin. These enterotoxins stimulate the adenylate cyclase-cyclic adenosine monophosphate system in intestinal epithelial cells, leading to profuse watery diarrhea. Foods commonly associated with type 2 syndrome are meat and vegetables.

A type of bacteria that is occasionally capable of movement, and can thrive in the presence of oxygen (aerobic) or survive without it (facultatively anaerobic). This spore-forming bacterium is commonly found in soil where it acts as a saprophyte, breaking down organic matter. It is known for causing food poisoning through the production of an enterotoxin in contaminated foods. This bacteria’s ability to form spores and its presence in various environments make it a significant concern in food safety, as it can lead to serious health issues when ingested through contaminated food.