An outbreak of Bacillus cereus food poisoning--are caterers supervised sufficiently.
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An outbreak of Bacillus cereus food poisoning--are caterers supervised sufficiently.

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      Bacillus cereus is an uncommonly reported cause of foodborne illness in the United States. In May 1989, an outbreak of B. cereus gastroenteritis occurred among 140 guests who had attended a catered wedding reception in Napa, CA. Investigation established Cornish game hens served at the event as the vehicle for disease transmission (OR = 29, P = 0.0001). Although the spores of B. cereus are ubiquitous, large numbers of toxin-producing organisms (more than 10(5) per gram of food) are required for illness to occur. In the Napa outbreak, bacterial multiplication was facilitated at several points during the preparation and transportation of the food. While a licensed restaurant kitchen was used, the facilities were clearly inadequate for the event. At present, the California Health and Safety Code does not address the scope of catering operations. As caterers increase in number, there will be a growing need for governmental oversight to ensure that food production on a large scale is conducted safely.
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