Based on the preliminary information received from the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory, the test results highly indicate the food borne outbreak at West Geauga High School to be associated with a bacteria known as Clostridium perfringens. The final results are still to be confirmed.
This bacteria is found in many different kinds of media such as soils and the intestines of humans and animals, etc. This bacteria causes intense abdominal pain and diarrhea beginning 8 to 22 hours after consuming food that contains this bacteria. This illness could possibly be confused with a 24-Hour flu. Clostridium perfringens is the most commonly reported food borne illness.
The illness is attributed to organisms on raw food product, however, most of the organisms are killed during preparation of the food. When food is kept at the wrong temperatures, the organisms will produce toxin which make people sick. Keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold is the best way to eliminate this potential problem.