Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
20 January 2010
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, reports that its agar for identifying Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) can accurately test food and beverages for this illness-causing microorganism. Brilliance™ Bacillus cereus Agar allows laboratories to significantly improve the detection and recovery of B. cereus. Food microbiologists in both manufacturing companies and research laboratories rely on Brilliance Bacillus cereus Agar for rapid identification of the bacterium.
With Brilliance Bacillus cereus Agar, B. cereus is quickly isolated, appearing as coloured colonies for precise identification. Food manufacturers can rapidly extract B. cereus if present, investigate the cause of the contamination and, if necessary, alert consumers.
“Although B. cereus poisoning is largely under-reported, the recent voluntary recall of ready-to-drink Slim-Fast™ products in the United States and Canada, for example, underscores the need for more vigilant testing,” said Ali Ball, vice president of marketing and new product development for the Thermo Fisher Scientific microbiology business. “We are committed to providing quality products and solutions to help food manufacturers avoid costly recalls or outbreaks and, most importantly, to protect consumers from the consequences of B. cereus poisoning.”
Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 27,000 cases of B. cereus food poisoning occur in the U.S.A. each year. However, only 72 were officially reported (none of these in connection with the Slim-Fast™ product recall) during the most recent yearly analysis. This is, at least in part, because B. cereus poisoning symptoms – nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea – closely resemble those of staphylococcal (Staphylococcus aureus) food poisoning, resulting in misdiagnosis and under-reporting.
B. cereus contamination typically occurs when foods are prepared and held without refrigeration for several hours before serving.