Clostridium in holiday meal sickens 34 in Thunder Bay

The Slovak Legion in Thunder Bay, Ontario (that’s in Canada, and it’s cold) hosted a Christmas meal on Dec. 14, 2010; at least 34 diners ended up barfing.

Clostridium prefringens (that’s perfringens – dp) has been identified as the bacteria that caused the illnesses. It was found in the cooked turkey sample and stool samples that were submitted for testing.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit notes almost all food-related outbreaks of C. perfringens are associated with inadequately cooled or reheated meals such as turkey dinners. Outbreaks are usually traced to large-scale food premises.

To prevent food-related illness:
• Educate food handlers on correct food safety practices
• Serve meat dishes hot, or as soon as they are cooked
• Do not partially cook meat and poultry one day and reheat the next
• Divide large amounts of food into smaller containers to allow rapid cooling

Try out our holiday meal food safety infosheet at