Archive for category Botulism
In Scotland last week, two children from the same family were admitted to hospital with the very serious but rare condition of botulism.
Botulism is a type of food poisoning resulting from the ingestion of a toxin produced from a bacterium know as Clostridium botulinum. The toxin is known as botulinum toxin and is one of the most lethal known to man.
Botulism can also occur by entry of the toxin via contaminated wounds.
In this case the toxin was thought to originate from a jar of curry.
COUNTRY : SCOTLAND
Investigations are continuing into the possible cause, but botulism is often food borne. Botulism is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which attacks the nervous system and can affect people of any age. The infection is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. Symptoms of foodborne botulism typically begin between 12 and 36 hours after ingestion of contaminated food, but may present in as little as six hours.
The bacteria that produce this toxin can exist in a dormant spore form. Great care must be take in the preparation of certain canned or bottled food in the home. This is why adequate sterilisation of jars used for storage is so important. Even minute amounts of the toxin can be fatal.
The following link to the U.S. National Library of Medicine give practical advice on botulism:
COUNTRY : USA
NEVER give honey or corn syrup to infants younger than 1 year old — not even just a little taste on a pacifier.
Prevent infant botulism by breastfeeding only, if possible.
Always throw away bulging cans or foul-smelling preserved foods. Sterilizing home-canned foods by pressure cooking them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes may reduce the risk for botulism.
Keep foil-wrapped baked potatoes hot or in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
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