What is BOTULISM?

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The bacteria may enter the body through wounds, or they may live in improperly canned or preserved food. Clostridium botulinum is found in soil and untreated water throughout the world. It produces spores that survive in improperly preserved or canned food, where they produce toxin. When eaten, even tiny amounts of this toxin can lead to severe poisoning. The foods most commonly contaminated are home-canned vegetables, cured pork and ham, smoked or raw fish, and honey or corn syrup. Botulism may also occur if the organism enters open wounds and produces toxin there.

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Written and fact checked by The Law Dictionary