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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380786

Research Project: Data Acquisition, Development of Predictive Models for Food Safety and their Associated Use in International Pathogen Modeling and Microbial Databases

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research

Title: Clostridium perfringens Gastroenteritis

item SANTOS GARCÍA, SANTOS - Autonomous University Of Nuevo León
item HEREDIA, NORMA - Autonomous University Of Nuevo León
item LABBÉ, RONALD - University Of Massachusetts
item Juneja, Vijay

Submitted to: Foodborne Infections and Intoxications
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2021
Publication Date: 7/14/2021
Citation: Santos García, S., Heredia, N., Labbé, R.G., Juneja, V.K. 2021. Clostridium perfringens Gastroenteritis. Foodborne Infections and Intoxications. 2021, Pages 89-103.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Clostridium perfringens continues to be a significant concern to the food industry. The ubiquitous nature of this bacterium, its ability to form heat-resistant spores, its rapid growth rate at relatively high temperatures, and its ability to form an enterotoxin (CPE) makes it a frequent problem for the food industry and establishments where large amounts of food are prepared. Foodborne illness due to C. perfringens is due to the production of an enterotoxin during the sporulation of the bacterium in the intestine. A number of epidemiologic criteria have been proposed for establishing an outbreak of C. perfringens type A food poisoning. These include: (a) > million ent+ spores/g feces from ill individuals; (b) > one hundred thousand ent + cells/g in incriminated food; (c) the presence of the same serotype in all ill individuals in an outbreak; or (d) detection of enterotoxin in feces of ill individuals. Genomic sequencing methods used in epidemiologic investigations of outbreaks are replacing other methods such as pulsed field gel electrophoresis, subtyping schemes for C. perfringens (use of bacteriocins, zymotyping, and plasmid profiling), and other molecular methods of identification, such as ribotyping, variable number tandem repeat analysis, random amplified polymorphic DNA, and multiple-locus sequence typing. Public health agencies recommend holding cooked foods at or below 4C (40 F) or above 60C (140F). Such temperatures will prevent the growth of C. perfringens in hazardous foods. Other recommended procedures include reducing the size of large portions of meat to hasten cooling and ensuring proper cooling capacity of refrigeration facilities.