Botulism

Latin for “sausage disease,” Botulism can unquestionably bring out the wurst in people - Giant Microbes

Botulism

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The Botulism Outbreak That Gave Rise to America’s Food Safety System

My seventh-grade science teacher repeated two facts so often that they are still crystal clear in my memory. The first was the definition of osmosis: “the passing of a substance from a lesser concentration to a greater concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.” The other was this: dented canned food can poison you with botulism, the deadliest toxin on the planet.

Why these two facts seemed among the most important things to teach 12-year-olds in the 1990s is not exactly clear, but it stands to reason that at least the latter fact came from inherited wisdom. This middle-aged teacher in Arkansas had likely heard about botulism in canned food from his own mother and grandmother,…

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Last Updated : Tuesday, July 23, 2019