Botulism is a paralytic disease caused by ingestion of a neurotoxin produced by the anaerobic, spore-forming, Gram-positive rod Clostridium botulinum. Unfortunately, growth of the organism and production of the deadly toxin may not result in any noticeable changes in the taste or appearance of the food. Canning processes are specifically designed to destroy the endospores of this organism, but processing errors or postprocessing contamination can allow the germination of the endospores and growth of the vegetative cells that produce toxin.

Table 32.4 Common Foodborne Illnesses




Foods Commonly Implicated


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