Shops, Supermarkets and Botulism

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While we know that preserving food at home is not without its risks – botulism in particular – we still need to remain vigilant when buying commercially preserved food too.

Firstly, the products that you buy from shops must be refrigerated after opening and between each use. Secondly, never buy canned goods if the can has been dented. This could cause a microfissure which would mean that the can was no longer airtight.

Lastly, two other commonsense pieces of advice: refrigerate all foods that are labelled “keep refrigerated” and never buy any product if the container appears swollen, as this is a sign that fermentation has already begun.

Botulism is a serious illness and can indeed prove fatal in 5% to 10% of cases. It occurs when we consume food that is either badly prepared or has been badly stored.

Symptoms of this toxi infection include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, giddiness, double vision, dry throat, weakness, difficulty breathing and paralysis, and they require immediate medical assistance.

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