About B cereus food poisoning

The famous B cereus joke - Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face *Joker laugh*
Bacillus cereus is a gram positive bacteria. It has become an important cause of food poisoning and we are discussing that today! Let's get learning!

B cereus produces two patterns of foodborne disease.

One is characterized by diarrhea and abdominal pain, 8-16 hours after ingestion of contaminated food like vegetables. It is caused by a heat labile enterotoxin. B cereus is not found in large numbers in fecal specimens in this pattern of food poisoning.

The second type is characterized with the nausea and vomiting, 1-5 hours after ingestion of contaminated rice. (Usually fried or reheated rice in Chinese restaurants)
Interesting fact: B cereus is not killed by steaming.
It is caused by a heat - stable exotoxin. B cereus is present in large numbers in the fecal samples as well as the cooked rice.
Another interesting fact: The emetic toxin was produced only when B cereus was grown in rice but not in other media!

Eggs increases growth of B cereus, so it's not surprising that B cereus is isolated on a special media called mannitol-egg yolk-phenol red-polymxin agar.
(Dat name! T_T "MYPA agar" is the short nickname, yaay! )

Biology pun fun - Bacteria have daddy issues!
Good news is, B cereus causes a self limiting illness requiring no specific treatment, cheers to the immune system! ^_^

You might require symptomatic treatment, never hesitate to see a doctor if you are nervous about your symptoms!


  1. B cereus causes no "serious" sickness. One doesn't need to get treatment for it. The illness will go in time on its own. I loved this article. Learned so many new things after reading. It was kinda hilarious also. Those pictures added my interest in reading it. Thanks a lot for writing something worth reading.

    Best Regards,
    Arnold Brame