The vegetative cells and spores of four strains of Clostridium perfringens were examined to determine the effect of lowered and elevated temperatures. Spores were produced by following the method of Ellner, and vegetative cells were obtained from thioglycolate cultures. After exposure to freezing or refrigeration temperatures (-17.7 and 7.1 C, respectively), only small numbers of the vegetative cells were recovered. After similar treatment, 16 to 58% of the spores were recovered. Essentially no vegetative cells and few spores survived holding at 80 C for 10 min. Although all strains were isolated from food, only one strain of the four studied had its origin in a food-poisoning outbreak, and it had been carried on laboratory media for approximately 10 years.