Some 110 cases of botulism take place in the United States each year, according to the National Institutes of Health. When an individual eats food contaminated by Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria produces a nerve toxin in the body that might cause paralysis and death if not dealt with, inning accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But how to know if canned food has botulism?
Avoiding botulism contamination involves preparing and preserving food securely. Consumers should inspect food before eating it for signs of possible contamination.
How to Check Canned Food for Botulism?
- Feel the temperature of the food if it is one that needs heating or refrigeration. Avoid a baked potato wrapped in foil, for example, if it has actually cooled.
- Determine the source of the food, if possible. High risk foods consist of home-canned, low acid items, such as meat, corn, beets, tomatoes and green beans, and fermented seafood, such as that served in Alaska. However, commercially ready chili peppers, baked potatoes and garlic in oil have actually been linked to botulism, too.
- Check canned or rattled foods for abnormalities in the container before opening. People should dispose of a can with bulging ends or joints or one that is leaking. If a glass container’s lid bulges or leaks, do not eat the food. Be aware that honey, often linked to baby botulism, will reveal no signs of contamination, so never ever provide it to children under 12 months.
- Notice when you open the container if air enters or out. If air hurries out, the food might be spoiled or infected.
- Smell the food to determine if has a spoiled smell. Some stress of C. botulinum do not cause the food to smell bad, however, so an OK smell test does not mean that the food is safe.
- Observe the texture and color of the food. Liquids ought to be clear and the broth over canned meat or chicken need to be gelled.
Botulism Prevention Steps for Canned Food
If a low acid food shows no signs of contamination, however canning was not performed properly, boil it for 10 minutes if you are at an elevation below 1,000 feet, the Oregon State University Extension says. At higher elevations, include one minute of boiling time for each additional 1,000 feet of elevation. Microwaving the food for the same period of time will render it safe, as iytmed.com states.
Never ever dispose of contaminated low acid foods such as fish, meat, poultry or veggies in the trash without heating them first since they may contain toxins that might poison animals or humans. Boil the opened container in water for 30 minutes, then cool and dispose of the contents. Nevertheless, you might dispose of infected high acid foods, such as fruit, in the garbage disposal or trash bin.