Foodborne botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by eating foods that are contaminated with the botulism bacteria. The bacteria multiply and produce toxin quickly in the food and body.
However, the problem lies in that it is difficult to tell if the food contains the toxin. Because you cannot see, smell, or taste it – but taking even a small taste of food containing this toxin can be deadly.
To prevent botulism, here are some practical measures.
Throw the canned food when you see it
- is leaking, has bulges; looks damaged or cracked
- spurt liquid or foam when you open it
- is discolored, moldy, or smells bad
When discarding it, you should:
- avoid splashing the contaminated food on your skin
- place the food or can in a sealable bag, and seal it shut
- never discard the food in a sink, garbage disposal, or toilet
- wash your hands with soap and running water after throwing it
When making cans at home, remember to:
- follow meticulously all specified home-canning processing instructions
- clean your hands, containers, and utensils
- boil the home-canned food for 10 minutes to kill the toxin
- choose proper refrigeration
If, unfortunately, you or your family members get botulism, make an emergency call such as 911 immediately.
Keywords: foodborne botulism