Prevention

Botulism is easy to prevent, since it is killed when canned food is boiled at 100° C for one minute, or if the food is first sterilized by pressure cooking at 250°F for 30 minutes.

While the tightly fitted lids of home-canned food will provide the anaerobic environment necessary for the growth of botulism toxins, the spores will not grow if the food is very acidic, sweet, or salty (such as canned fruit juice, jams and jellies, sauerkraut, tomatoes, and heavily salted hams).

botulism, infant Unlike botulism in adults, which occurs after eating contaminated food, infant botulism occurs in babies under one year of age and is less serious. While all botulism is caused by toxins given off by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, in infant botulism the baby does not ingest the toxin. Instead, the spores from botulism bacteria reproduce the toxin in the baby's digestive tract, which then travels to the baby's nerve cells. Fortunately, most babies will recover with prompt hospital treatment.

Some experts believe that infant botulism may be responsible for up to 5 percent of all cases of sudden infant death syndrome.

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