Prevalence of Bacillus cereus in food products in Poland
More details
Hide details
National Institute of Public Health NIH – National Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland
Corresponding author
Joanna Kowalska   

National Institute of Public Health NIH - National Research Institute, Chocimska, 00-791, Warsaw, Poland
Introduction and objective:
Bacillus cereus is a foodborne pathogen causing two main types of gastrointestinal diseases: emetic and diarrheal. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of the Bacillus cereus group in ready-to-eat (RTE) food products available in retail in Poland.

Material and methods:
Samples were collected by Sanitary and Epidemiological Stations within the framework of the national official control and monitoring sampling programme in Poland. In 2016–2020, a total of 45,358 food samples, such as: ‘confectionery products and products with cream’, as well as ‘cereal grains and cereal and flour products’, ‘milk and milk products’, ‘sugar and others’, ‘meat offal and meat products’, ‘poultry offal and poultry products’, ‘eggs and egg products’, ‘fish, seafood and their preserves’, ‘vegetables’ (including legumes), ‘coffee, tea, cocoa, fruit, and herbal teas’, ‘delicatessen and culinary products’, and ‘foods for particular nutritional uses’ were collected.

The presence of the presumptive B. cereus group was monitored mainly in two categories of food products: ‘confectionery products and products with uncooked cream’ and ‘confectionery products and products with heat-treated cream’. The number of samples disqualified due to presumptive B. cereus was 339 (0.75%).

This study provides useful information regarding the contamination of RTE products with the B. cereus group, which may have implications for food safety.

Liu Y, Du J, Lai Q, et al. Proposal of nine novel species of the Bacillus cereus group. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2017;67(8):2499–2508.
Ehling-Schulz M, Lereclus D, Koehler T M. The Bacillus cereus group: Bacillus species with pathogenic potential. Microbiol Spectr. 2019;7(3):7–3.
Le Marc Y, Postollec F, Huchet V, et al. Modelling the thermal inactivation of spores from different phylogenetic groups of Bacillus cereus. Int J Food Microbiol. 2022;368:109607.
Hayrapetyan H, Abee T, Nierop Groot M. Sporulation dynamics and spore heat resistance in wet and dry biofilms of Bacillus cereus. Food Control. 2016;60:493–499.
Gálvez MRE, Carranco DJA, Cárdenas MA, et al. Skin and soft tissue infection by Bacillus cereus. An Med Asoc Med Hosp ABC. 2020;65(2):148–152.
Kumari S, Sarkar PK. Bacillus cereus hazard and control in industrial dairy processing environment. Food Control. 2016;69:20–29.
Meng JN, Liu YJ, Shen X, et al. Detection of emetic Bacillus cereus and the emetic toxin cereulide in food matrices: Progress and perspectives. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2022; 123:322–333
Czubkowska A, Rola JG, Osek J. Bacillus cereus: an important factor in food poisoning in humans. Med Weter. 2013; 69(7), 399–402.
Messelhäusser U, Frenzel E, Blöchinger C, et al. Emetic Bacillus cereus Are More Volatile Than Thought: Recent Foodborne Outbreaks and Prevalence Studies in Bavaria (2007–2013). Biomed Res Int. 2014:1–9.
Huang Y, Flint SH, Palmer JS. Bacillus cereus spores and toxins – The potential role of biofilms. Food Microbiol. 2020;90:103493.
Cetin-Karaca H, Newman MC. Antimicrobial efficacy of phytochemicals against Bacillus cereus in reconstituted infant rice cereal. Food Microbiol. 2018;69:189–195.
Granum PE, Lund T. Bacillus cereus and its food poisoning toxins. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006;157(2):223–228.
Glasset B, Herbin S, Granier SA, et al. Bacillus 237 cereus, a serious cause of nosocomial infections: Epidemiologic and genetic survey. PLoS One. 2018;13(5):e0194346.
Tuipulotu ED, Mathur A, Ngo C, et al. Bacillus cereus: Epidemiology, Virulence Factors, and Host–Pathogen Interactions. Trends Microbiol. 2021;29(5):458–471.
Berthold-Pluta A, Pluta A, Garbowska M. The effect of selected factors on the survival of Bacillus cereus in the human gastrointestinal tract. Microb Pathog. 2015;82:7–14.
Glasset B, Sperry M, Dervyn R, et al. The cytotoxic potential of Bacillus cereus strains of various origins. Food Microbiol. 2021;98:103759.
EFSA and ECDC (European Food Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). Risks for public health related to the presence of Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp. including Bacillus thuringiensis in foodstuffs. EFSA J. 2016;14(7).
Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs. Official Journal of the EU.L. 338, 1–26.
PN-EN ISO 7932:2005. Mikrobiologia żywności i pasz. Horyzontalna metoda oznaczania liczby Bacillus cereus. Metoda liczenia kolonii w temperaturze 30 stopni C [Food and feed microbiology. Horizontal method for the enumeration of Bacillus cereus. Method of counting colonies at 30 degrees C].
Amin WF. Occurrence of Bacillus cereus in some milk-based desserts. Assiut Vet Med J. 2018;64:41–46.
Jackson EE, Erten ES, Maddi N, et al. 260 Detection and enumeration of four foodborne pathogens in raw commingled silo milk in the United States. J Food Prot. 2012;75:1382–1393.–0....
Proroga YT, Capuano F, Castellano S, et al. Occurrence and toxin gene profile of Bacillus cereus in dairy products. J Microbiol Biotechnol Food Sci. 2019:58–62.
Liu XY, Hu Q, Xu F, et al. Characterization of Bacillus cereus in Dairy Products in China. Toxins 2020;12(7):454.
Gao T, Ding Y, Wu Q, et al. Prevalence, virulence Genes, antimicrobial susceptibility, and genetic diversity of Bacillus cereus isolated from pasteurized milk in China. Front Mikrobiol. 2018;9:533.
EFSA and ECDC (European Food Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). The European Union One Health 2021 Zoonoses Report. EFSA J. 2022;20(12):7666.
EFSA and ECDC (European Food Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). The European Union One Health 2019 Zoonoses Report. EFSA J. 2021;19(2):6406.
Kindle P, Etter D, Stephan R, et al. Population structure and toxin gene profiles of Bacillus cereus sensu lato isolated from flour products. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 2019;366(20):fnz240.
Gdoura-Ben Amor M, Siala M, et al. Isolation, identification, prevalence, and genetic diversity of Bacillus cereus group bacteria from different foodstuffs in Tunisia. Front Microbiol. 2018;9:447.