Clostridium perfringens

( klos-trid-ee-um pur-fring-enz )
Clostridium perfringens
About This nanobug

Nickname: C. perfringens

Morphology: Gram-positive spore-forming rod-shaped bacterium

Habitat: Often found in the intestines of humans and animals; Grows best in low-oxygen foods; C. perfringens can survive in meat and meat products kept at room temperature after cooking

Disease or illness: Diarrhea and abdominal cramping; illness starts 6-18 hours after eating contaminated food; the illness can last for 24 hours to 2 weeks

Who is at risk: Anyone who eats food contaminated with this bacterium, but especially the elderly, infants and people with a weakened immune system

Avoidance techniques: Cook meat and poultry adequately but not too far in advance of consumption because as the meat sits, the spores germinate and produce colonies of bacteria that “poison” the consumer


“Cook your stew through and through or the leftovers could have you crying ‘Boo-Hoo!’”