Wednesday, October 28, 2009


'Botulism' is a serious consequence of consuming Cl. botulinum infected food in which
the bacteria excretes its toxin material. This toxin is more familiar to beauty parlors where 'botox' facial treatment is offered for removing wrinkles. During the hey days of canning industry Cl. bottulinum was a dreaded infection and there were few fatalities on account of this. With the processing conditions for elimination of this organism well established, especially the acidity and temperature requirement, bottulism seemed like a thing of the past. The baby food recall, as reported recently in the US, will revive the anxieties about cl.bottulinum again.

"The recall was undertaken as a precaution due to the risk of potential contamination with Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition. Consumers should not use these products, even if they appear to be normal, because of the possible health risk. Symptoms of botulism poisoning in humans include general weakness, dizziness,double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention".

As long as the safe process conditions are followed, there should not be any serious apprehension regarding botulinum infection in modern day processing facilities with dependable instrumentation to ensure the adequacy of the process. As Cl.botulinum survives only under anaerobic condition, there are very few products that can be affected by this organism. With most of the industry adopting HACCP system for ensuring safety of processed foods, there should not be any undue concern on this account.


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