The major cause of all kinds of bacterial food poisoning is temperature changes. Clostridium perfringens is no exception because the bacterium multiplies in foodstuffs that are kept at room temperature for hours. The bacterium gets into the food during the cooking process either from the handler or from the materials being used. Once introduced into the food, clostridia develop vegetative spores that are heat stable and are therefore able to resist the normal cooking temperatures. When the food is left to cool or taken out of the refrigerator, the spores multiply in the food within a few hours. Clostridia do not, however, produce toxins in the food before consumption but rather in the stomach once ingestion has occurred (Doyle, 2009, p. 24).

The same applies to the case study above where bacteria were introduced into the corned beef during handling and were able to develop spores and multiply when the beef had been left to cool after heating as well as the time when it had been removed from the refrigerator before being served. After consumption of the corned beef, the spores developed into toxins which caused the symptoms reported. Besides temperature changes, lack of adequate hygiene causes the invasion of bacteria into foodstuffs from where the bacteria obtain nutrients for their growth.

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