Atmosphere

The presence or absence of oxygen affects the type of microbial population able to grow in food. For example, members of the

804 Chapter 32 Food Microbiology genus Pseudomonas are obligate aerobes, and consequently they cannot grow in foods stored under conditions that exclude all of their required oxygen. Excluding oxygen from a food, however, may enable the growth of other bacteria, including the obligate anaerobe Clostridium botulinum. A case of botulism was traced to the consumption of a thick homemade stew that had been slowly cooked and then left at room temperature overnight. The cooking process did not destroy the endospores of C. botulinum and had created anaerobic conditions in which the organism thrived and produced toxin. ■ oxygen requirements, p. 88

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