Cereulide is a toxin produced by specific Bacillus cereus strains, known to be highly cytotoxic. It negatively affects mitochondrial function and causes serious intestinal issues upon ingestion in humans, such as vomiting and nausea.
Preparation of food that is allowed to be cooled down slowly, allowing the B. cereus spores to germinate and produce cereulide, can lead to subsequent ingestion of the toxin and cause severe intestinal symptoms. Several type of foods such as meat and dairy, have been associated with cereulide infections. Microbial predictive models and analytics methods are applied to quickly evaluate the risk of survival, growth and toxin production during manufacturing and in finished products throughout its shelf life.