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Yamaguchi Prefecture announced on 26 Sep 2022 that 46 residents of 2 elderly facilities run by the social welfare corporation Midoriyamakai in Furukawa-cho, Kudamatsu City developed foodborne illness caused by Clostridium perfringens. They complained of diarrhea and abdominal pain, but all but one with a chronic illness have recovered.

Image/MichaelGaida via pixabay

According to the prefecture, the 2 facilities are Gran Terrace Kudamatsu Chuo, a care house, and Hoshi Terrace, a special nursing home for the elderly. On 17 Sep 2022, a total of 109 residents and staff of the 2 facilities were served breakfast prepared by the Midoriyamakai-run school lunch facility. It is said that 46 people developed symptoms from the evening of the same day to 18 Sep 2022.

The prefectural government determined that the simmered food was the source of the illness, as Clostridium perfringens was detected in the simmered komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) and deep-fried fish cakes served for breakfast.

Clostridium perfingens intoxication is due to a toxin mediated infection where the ingested bacteria colonize in the intestinal tract and subsequently produce their toxin.

Although Clostridium perfringens is an organism most frequently associated with gas gangrene, it is also a major cause of food poisoning.

Almost all outbreaks are associated with inadequately heated or reheated meats, usually stews, meat pies, and gravies made from beef, turkey or chicken.

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Outbreaks of Clostridium perfringens food poisoning are usually traced to catering firms, restaurants, cafeterias and schools with inadequate cooling and refrigeration facilities for large-scale service.

After a period of 8 to 22 hours, this intestinal disease is characterized by a sudden onset of colic followed by diarrhea and nausea. Vomiting and fever are not usually present.

It is generally a mild disease lasting about 24 hours or less. It is rarely fatal in otherwise healthy people.