Know about Clostridium Botulinum

By Allison Boschini

What do you really know about Clostridium Botulinum?

Clostridium Botulinum thrives for low oxygen environments and it can be found living on surfaces of fruits and vegetables.

Some foods/sources associated with Clostridium Botulinum are:

  • Canned foods
  • Green beans
  • Soups
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
Children and Adults can be exposed to this by improperly canned foods, and not cleaning the foods before cooked/eaten.

The implicated illnesses and incubation period for Clostridium Botulinum

Clostridium Botulinum is very but can be extremely serious. It can enter the body through opened wounds and can live on fruits and vegetables from the farms. The incubation period depends on how serious the exposure was. The higher amount of toxin ingested, the greater the fatality is. The average incubation period is between 12 and 72 hours.

Symptoms and the duration of symptoms of Clostridium Botulinum

Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
The most serious symptom is respiratory failure.

The duration of the symptoms is approximately 12 to 36 hour.

Steps for prevention

To prevent Clostridium Botulinum you may want to follow these steps:

  • Clean the food before preparation
  • Properly can foods
  • Check the seals on all cans; no broken labels and dents
  • Buy canned foods from a known store
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Farm-To-Table Continuum


It starts at the farm if it is exposed to low oxygen leveled environments. Once it has attacked the plants/fruits it has already been exposed to the toxin.


If the canned fruits and vegetables are not canned properly, then the virus can attack here if not already done so at the farm.


If the cans are transported at low oxygen level environments, then Clostridium Botulinum can began while being transported to the stores.


If the cans are stored at low oxygen levels for a very long period of time it can attack here.


By not washing the cans before opening them can result in Clostridium Botulinum. If there is fresh food, you should always wash that before cooking as well.