Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) is described as a spore forming bacteria that is found naturally in a wide range of food. It normally forms only a small part of the microflora of a food product. Hence bacillus cereus as a spore-forming bacterium is said to be frequently isolated from soil and some food. When one heats food under normal cooking conditions, the B. cereus cells are normally destroyed, however the spores of B. cereus are said to be much more resistant to cooking temperatures and thus can remain in the food. Thus often rapid chilling of food can prevent spores from germinating and growing after cooking.
Characteristically, Bacillus cultures are always Gram-positive when young, and they are said to become Gram-negative as they age. Bacillus species are hence aerobic, sporulating, rod-shaped bacteria which are omnipresent in nature i.e. they exist everywhere at the same time. The gram-stained cells are usually 1 µm wide or 5-10 µm long and they appear to be arranged separately or in short chains.
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