Clostridium Perfringens Food Poisoning Causes Illness and Injury
Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), a gram-positive bacterium found in a variety of environmental sources as well as in the intestines of humans and animals, is the cause of the most common types of foodborne illnesses in the United States each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the bacteria causes nearly 1 million cases of foodborne illness every year.
Clostridium perfringens prefers to grow in conditions with very little or no oxygen. Under ideal conditions the bacteria can multiply very rapidly. Some strains of C. perfringens produce a toxin in the intestine that causes illness.
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Common Sources & Complications of C. Perfringens
C. perfringens infections often occur when foods are prepared in large quantities in hospitals, school cafeterias, prisons, and nursing homes and are then kept warm for a long time before serving. The bacteria can survive high temperatures.
At temperatures from 54°F–140°F, the bacteria may grow, and can grow very rapidly between 109°F–117°F. If food is served without reheating to kill the bacteria, it may be consumed and the bacteria is able to produce a toxin inside the intestine that causes illness.
Although C.perfringens may live normally in the human intestine, illness is caused by eating food contaminated with large numbers of C. perfringens bacteria that produce enough toxin in the intestines to cause illness. Beef, poultry, gravies, and dried or pre-cooked foods are common sources of infections.
Everyone is susceptible to food poisoning from C. perfringens, though the very young and elderly are most at risk of C. perfringens infection and can experience more severe symptoms that may last weeks. Dehydration may occur in severe cases.
Symptoms of Clostridium Perfringens
People infected with C. perfringens develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours. The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours. People infected with C. perfringens usually do not have fever or vomiting.
Laboratories can diagnose C. perfringens food poisoning by detecting a type of bacterial toxin in feces. Treatment involves oral rehydration. In severe cases, intravenous fluids and electrolyte replacement can be used to prevent or treat dehydration. Antibiotics are not recommended.
If you or a loved one has suffered from Clostridium Perfringens or another a foodborne infection, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.