Two Botulism Illnesses Linked to Temperature-Abused Soup

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Botulism-causing toxins form when Clostridium botulinum spores are allowed to germinate and then grow in a low-acid food without oxygen held at room temperature. This Food Safety Infosheet describes a 2011 case of botulism linked to refrigerated soup that was purchased and kept unrefrigerated before consumed.


  • Since these soups were not processed to kill Clostridium botulinum spores, the only control measure for botulism was keeping the product refrigerated
  • If you sell foods that require refrigeration for safety, clearly and repeatedly communicate this to your customers
  • Know which of your foods have to be refrigerated; check labels of incoming ingredients and follow instructions

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