The bacterium Clostridium botulinum (family clostridiaceae) is found in soil, water sediments, plants and in the digestive tract of humans and animals. The gram-positive bacterium grows anaerobically, which is why it is often found in vacuum stored food. Unfortunately, the protein-rich and pH-adjusted environment within meat products is perfect for Clostridium botulinum to grow. The term botulinum derives from the Latin word for sausage: botulus. The oval spores of C. botulinum are heat-resistant up to 100°C and can be reactivated even after decades (spores are used for reproduction). Clostridium botulinum measures 2–10 µm (length) and 0.5–1.0 µm in diameter. The structure of Clostridium botulinumresembles that of Clostridium tetani.
What about botulism?
Botulism, caused by Clostridium…