What causes foodborne botulism?

Updated: Feb 15, 2019
  • Author: Kirk M Chan-Tack, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

Foodborne botulism results from the ingestion of preformed neurotoxins; A, B, and E are the most common. On average, 24 cases of foodborne botulism are reported annually.

High-risk foods include home-canned or home-processed low-acid fruits and vegetables; fish and fish products; and condiments, such as relish and chili peppers.

Commercially processed foods and improperly handled fresh foods are occasionally associated with botulism outbreaks.

Outbreaks of foodborne botulism in restaurants, schools, and private homes have been traced to uncommon sources, such as commercial pot-pies, baked potatoes, [6] beef stew, turkey loaf, sautéed onions, chopped garlic in oil, [7] and cheese sauce.


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