B. cereus food poisoning is the general description, but two recognized types of illness exist. Different proteins cause the diarrhea and the vomiting types.
The symptoms of the diarrhea type are similar to Clostridium perfringens food poisoning. Watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain occur 6-15 hours after consumption of contaminated food. Nausea may accompany diarrhea, but vomiting rarely occurs. Symptoms persist for 24 hours. A wide variety of foods including meats, milk, vegetables, and fish have been associated with the diarrhea type food poisoning..
The vomiting type is characterized by nausea and vomiting within 30 min to 6 hr after consumption of contaminated foods. Sometimes abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea occur. Duration is less than 24 h. The symptoms of this resemble those caused by Staphylococcus aureus food borne intoxication.. The vomiting-type outbreaks have generally been associated with rice products; however, other starchy foods such as potato, pasta and cheese products have also been implicated. Food mixtures such as sauces, puddings, soups, casseroles, pastries, and salads have frequently been incriminated in food poisoning outbreaks
The rapid onset of symptoms in the vomiting type with some food evidence, is enough to diagnose this food poisoning
MMWR 43(10):1994MMWR 35(25):1986