September 25, 2016

Botulism Case in North Carolina: Be Careful with Home Canning

Home canning is becoming more popular, since more people are planting gardens, supporting locally grown produce, and the "clean food" movement gathers steam. But canning low-acid foods, such as potatoes, carrots, and meat, can be tricky. One mistake and one bite of an improperly canned food, and you could die. A woman in North Carolina contracted botulism earlier this year, according to a presentation at the Governor's Task Force on Food Safety and Defense at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. The North Carolina Health News broke the story. Botulism spores are produced by the Clostridium botulism bacteria. They can survive just about anything. They live in dirt, and can be on any plant harvested from any container, garden, or farm. The spores grow in … [Read more...]

Home Canned Potatoes Likely Caused Ohio Church Botulism Outbreak

Public health officials in Ohio have found that potato salad made from home-canned potatoes likely caused the deadly botulism outbreak at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church potluck on April 19, 2015. As of today, there are 21 confirmed cases of botulism associated with that event. One woman died. There are also ten suspected cases where people are showing symptoms consistent with the illness. Patients have been treated with a botulism antitoxin provided by the CDC. Twelve people are still hospitalized. Improperly canned low-acid foods, such as potatoes, cheese, meat, and vegetables can harbor Clostridium botulism spores. Those spores grow in low-oxygen environments. Canned foods have very little oxygen, which is driven off during the cooking and canning process. It's … [Read more...]

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