Research – Outbreaks, Germination, and Inactivation of Bacillus cereus in Food Products: A Review

JFP

ABSTRACT

Bacillus cereus has been reported as a foodborne pathogen worldwide. Although food processing technologies to inactivate the pathogen have been developed for decades, foodborne outbreaks related to B. cereus have occurred. In the present review, foodborne outbreaks, germination, inactivation, and detection of B. cereus are discussed, along with inactivation mechanisms. B. cereus outbreaks from 2003 to 2016 are reported based on food commodity, number of cases, and consequent illnesses. Germination before sporicidal treatments is highlighted as an effective way to inactivate B. cereus, because the resistance of the pathogen increases significantly following sporulation. Several germinants used for B. cereus are listed, and their efficacies are compared. Finally, recently used interventions with sporicidal mechanisms are identified, and rapid detection methods that have been developed are discussed. Combining two or more interventions, known as the hurdle technology concept, is suggested to maximize the sporicidal effect. Further study is needed to ensure food safety and to understand germination mechanisms and sporicidal resistance of B. cereus.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bacillus cereus has been associated with several foodborne outbreaks.
  • Several germinants have been used to induce Bacillus cereus germination.
  • Resistance of Bacillus cereus may depend on the germination method.
  • Sporicidal effect of interventions can be maximized by hurdle technology.

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