Predominantly classified as bacteria, Bacillus cereus is found to contaminate food items and raw food, causing food poisoning amongst human-beings. Since they are able to adapt to wide-ranging climate conditions and resistant to factors like heat, radiation, under-sub-zero conditions, disinfectants, they are difficult to get rid of easily through common medicine. The bacteria are transmitted through untreated water, contaminated food and unhygienic living conditions which are most suited for the growth of these harmful bacteria.
Bacillus cereus is a unicellular microorganism that does not have a well-defined cell wall. They are 1 .µm wide, 5-10 .µm long rod-like microbes that have endospores with aerobic or anaerobic characteristics and commonly arranged singly or in short chains. They have photosynthesis pigments that provide them with unique color and endow them with features of plants, whereby, under the microscope, they appear as refractile objects. The endospore features help them to survive extreme conditions. The tough outer covering of spores is made up of keratin which is resistant to heat and chemicals. Under spore staining procedures, they are observed as green spores differentiated with pink vegetative cells.
1. They are gram-positive. The gram stain features of the bacteria have become a useful index for developing anti-biotic drugs that help to identify and isolate the harmful bacteria and make it ineffective.
4. They are toxic and produce one emetic toxin (ETE) and three different enterotoxins: HBL, Nhe and EntK, two out of which are responsible for causing food poisoning (Todar, 2004). They contaminate by making holes in the membranes.
They are highly relevant to society because of their prevalent and harmful presence in the atmosphere. They can be found in untreated water, air, soil, and decaying food items. Their toxic producing property is responsible for causing common food poisoning. Also, the fact that it can be found in so many different types of food items, makes it highly relevant for human society.