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Botulism

Botulism is a serious, often fatal form of foodborne illness. Illness is caused by a poison, which is produced by "Clostridiumbotulinum", a bacterium that is found everywhere -- in soil, on raw fruits and vegetables and on meat and fish. It grows in conditions where there is no oxygen, and over the years, a number of Canadians have died from botulism, as a direct result of improper home canning.

Information for Health Professionals


Botulism is a serious, often fatal form of food poisoning. The illness is due to a toxin produced byClostridium botulinum, a bacterium that is found everywhere - in soil, on raw fruits and vegetables and on meat and fish. Over the years, a number of Canadians have died from botulism, as a direct result of improper home canning.

Botulism spores are resistant to heat -- even from boiling water -- and thrive in a moist, oxygen-free environment. As botulism spores reproduce, they generate one of the most extraordinarily powerful poisons on earth: one teaspoon-worth is sufficient to kill 100,000 people. Improper home canning creates the perfect environment in which to grow the botulism toxin. Because food contaminated by botulism may very well look and smell normal, there is often no warning. That is why home canning must be done properly with extreme care - any short cuts you take could be deadly. 

 
 

SOURCE: Botulism ( )
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