What is C. perfringens? | Allen and Allen

What is C. perfringens? 

One of the most common causes of foodborne illness is C. perfringens bacteria. According to CDC estimates, these bacteria are responsible for nearly 1 million cases of foodborne illnesses in the United States each year. 

raw chicken

How does C. perfringens spread?

Perfringens can be found on raw meat and poultry. Infection can occur from consuming raw or undercooked meat that has been contaminated. The bacteria forms spores, which protect the bacteria and help it multiply. Additionally, these spores can allow the bacteria to survive cooking temperatures. For instance, if cooked food is left standing for too long, the bacteria can grow.

 Foods such as meat and poultry are common sources of C. perfringens infection. When these foods are cooked in large batches and stored at unsafe temperatures, the risk of contamination increases.  

 Cases of C. perfringens infection more commonly occur in places where large groups of people are served, such as hospitals, school cafeterias, nursing homes, and events with catered food.  

nauseous woman infected

Symptoms of C. perfringens

  • Stomach cramps 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dehydration 

Sickness caused by C. perfringens infection usually does not cause fever or vomiting. Symptoms tend to develop quickly within 6 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food. Once infected, people usually recover within 24 hours and do not require antibiotics.  

Individuals infected with C. pefringens should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration that is often associated with infection. Infection from C. perfringens cannot be passed from person to person. 

properly cooked chicken

How can I prevent a C. perfringens infection? 

  • Cook food to safe temperatures 
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours after cooking food 
  • Separate large portions of food such as soups or stews into smaller quantities for refrigeration 
  • Reheat leftovers to safe temperatures before serving 

If you or a loved one has suffered a foodborne illness through the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced foodborne illness attorneys at Allen & Allen today for a free consultation, at 866-803-1658.