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View Full Version : Can you get botulism from canned nuts?


RJARRRPCGP
12-29-06, 05:05 PM
Last night, I opened up my mixed nuts container to have some then put the plastic lid over it, then had some more today.

Captain Slug
12-29-06, 05:10 PM
Classic symptoms of food-borne botulism occur between 12-36 hours after consuming the botulinum toxin, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days. Wound botulism has a longer incubation period, usually between 4-14 days. Symptoms of either form usually include dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, muscle weakness, double vision, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea. These symptoms may progress to cause paralytic ileus with severe constipation, and eventually body paralysis. The respiratory muscles are affected as well, which may cause death due to respiratory failure. These are all symptoms of the muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin. In all cases illness is caused by the toxin made by C. botulinum, not by the bacterium itself.
If you had some yesterday (12 hours ago or more) and didn't have any symptoms until hours after having a second helping it's not likely to be botulism. Probably just generic food poisoning.
If you experience any neurological symptoms you should contact emergency medical assistance immediately.

David
12-29-06, 05:13 PM
I honestly laughed when I saw this topic in General Discussion. Honestly I did. Random.

RJARRRPCGP
12-29-06, 05:34 PM
If you had some yesterday (12 hours ago or more) and didn't have any symptoms until hours after having a second helping it's not likely to be botulism. Probably just generic food poisoning.
If you experience any neurological symptoms you should contact emergency medical assistance immediately.

I'm not sick. Just wondering if putting the plastic lid back on is dangerous after breaking the vaccuum by pulling off the metal wrap.

Captain Slug
12-29-06, 05:37 PM
Nope. Leaving food uncovered (particularly canned food) is dangerous not only for risk of attracting pests that could deposit harmful-to-ingest materials, but your food would also spoil more readily if exposed to moisture and mold.

You would only get botulism from canned food if it had not been properly processed. Leaving a can of food open for extended periods of time would result in other kinds of food poisoning.

RJARRRPCGP
12-29-06, 05:47 PM
Nope. Leaving food uncovered (particularly canned food) is dangerous not only for risk of attracting pests that could deposit harmful-to-ingest materials, but your food would also spoil more readily if exposed to moisture and mold.

You would only get botulism from canned food if it had not been properly processed. Leaving a can of food open for extended periods of time would result in other kinds of food poisoning.

But can botulism grow when the vaccuum is broken and isn't a tight seal on nut containers?

What do you mean by "properly processed"?

BossBorot
12-29-06, 05:49 PM
thanks for the laugh

anyways I dont think that there is any chance that you will get it. The botulinum toxin, that is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum, only grows in an anaerobic environment. Basically the toxen can only grow in an environment devoid of oxygen. So unless you opened the can of nuts, somehow had clostridium botulinum slip in, and then proceded to make an airtight vacuum after removing all of the oxygen in the can of nuts then you will be fine. I dont think that it would be possible to have this happen unless you tryed to or the food came poorly processed from the wherever it was packaged and in that case you would have been dead before you had a chance to take your second helping.

benbaked
12-29-06, 06:02 PM
Not to hijack this thread but can you get botulism from dented canned goods, such as a dented can of soup or corn?

RJARRRPCGP
12-29-06, 06:05 PM
Not to hijack this thread but can you get botulism from dented canned goods, such as a dented can of soup or corn?

Yes, you can!

Malpine Walis
12-29-06, 07:42 PM
OK, let me take this one,

First off, you need to know that I am licensed by my state health department to prepare foods for the immuno-compromised, so I do have some degree of training in the matter.

Botulism is as has been pointed out, a bacteria which only grows when it is not exposed to oxygen. Even a little bit of oxygen is deadly poison to the bacteria. Further, due to the anaerobic nature of the bacteria, it is normally only found under soil.

Due to the fact that there are such limited vectors for it to get into food in the first place, there are only certain foods that are primary risks. Basically, stuff that grows underground such as potatoes, carrots and onions are potential problems. Apart from peanuts, most nuts grow on trees so are not even on the radar for botulism here (do your mixed nut have peanuts?).

Going further, there is a distinction between the bacteria and the toxin. The bacteria itself is mostly harmless but in an environment where it can grow, it will over time develop high levels of the toxin as a waste product. So you probably could eat fresh bacteria with fairly little risk (but I am not going to volunteer for that experiment). Primarily, it is foods that have been preserved in some way at room temperature where you could see high levels of the active toxin.

Oddly, one of the vectors that we see in my area arises from the large Eastern European population that we have. It seems that they like to fry onions in oil and then set them aside for a while before they get used. Occasionally, someone will leave them sitting next to the stove for a few days before they are used. As the oil makes an effective seal against oxygen and the area around the stove tends to be fairly warm, BANG! People get sick and sometimes they die before they get medical help.

So as far as a can of mixed nuts go, that would be a real long shot. Now to some specific questions:

But can botulism grow when the vaccuum is broken and isn't a tight seal on nut containers?

No, once you open the can, you kill any anaerobic bacteria. Unless it has already had time to grow and develop the poison, then the act of opening the can would kill the bacteria.

Last night, I opened up my mixed nuts container to have some then put the plastic lid over it, then had some more today.

Well, the manufacturer put the plastic lid on the can to protect the nuts if you did not eat them all right away. If the basic practice was actually dangerous, I am confident that the government would have raised a fuss by now.


Not to hijack this thread but can you get botulism from dented canned goods, such as a dented can of soup or corn?

Yes, you can!

Sorry but no, you simply cannot. The oxygen thing again. Either the food in the can was going to be a problem before the dent or it never had botulism bacteria in the first place. The main risk in dented cans is that you let oxygen in after it has been sealed and the fats can oxidize. Oxidized fats are what we call really, really nasty. So nasty in fact that there is no way that you would be able to get down a single spoonful without hurling.

Oni
12-29-06, 08:09 PM
Sorry but no, you simply cannot. The oxygen thing again. Either the food in the can was going to be a problem before the dent or it never had botulism bacteria in the first place. The main risk in dented cans is that you let oxygen in after it has been sealed and the fats can oxidize. Oxidized fats are what we call really, really nasty. So nasty in fact that there is no way that you would be able to get down a single spoonful without hurling.

I believe he was being sarcastic. ;)

I always get dented cans over regular cans. Dented cans = cheaper, and I'm all about saving money.

RJARRRPCGP
12-29-06, 08:13 PM
Apart from peanuts, most nuts grow on trees so are not even on the radar for botulism here (do your mixed nut have peanuts?).



They probably do have peanuts.

b1029384756
12-29-06, 08:14 PM
I believe he was being sarcastic. ;)

I always get dented cans over regular cans. Dented cans = cheaper, and I'm all about saving money.

I wish I could find a supermarket that did that around here. If an employee finds a dented can, it goes into the damaged items pile and is destroyed. I'd probably be too tempted to pull a stunt like Adam Sandler if I was low on cash, though, and dent them myself to save money.

Roofles
12-29-06, 11:58 PM
I wish I could find a supermarket that did that around here. If an employee finds a dented can, it goes into the damaged items pile and is destroyed. I'd probably be too tempted to pull a stunt like Adam Sandler if I was low on cash, though, and dent them myself to save money.

Hit up an Aldi, its all name brand stuff usually but its the stuff that cant be sold directly under the brand name because of a simple defect that you don't care about anyways! The pizza's are Tombstone but the sauce is shifted slightly or something dumb, and they are $2! My friend lived off the 3 meat pizzas

scoobydoo
12-30-06, 12:05 AM
mama cozzi

@md0Cer
12-30-06, 07:03 PM
I believe he was being sarcastic. ;)

I always get dented cans over regular cans. Dented cans = cheaper, and I'm all about saving money.


Same here, sometimes if they are really bad dented cans = free.

Malpine technically might be right though. Usually when you let food "spoil" really really badly a spoonful will make you hurl. In fact just smelling it can usually make you hurl which is why you usually never eat a spoonful to begin with. Maybe that is this fat oxidation?

David
12-30-06, 07:20 PM
Same here, sometimes if they are really bad dented cans = free.

Malpine technically might be right though. Usually when you let food "spoil" really really badly a spoonful will make you hurl. In fact just smelling it can usually make you hurl which is why you usually never eat a spoonful to begin with. Maybe that is this fat oxidation?

I thought it was the bacteria and fungus making the smell? I could be wrong.