Thread: Botulism

  1. #1
    elipson's Avatar
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    Botulism

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, someone told me that your food can contract Botulism is you leave it in a pot or frying pan over night. I dismissed it as stupidity (and the age old argument of "it hasn't killed me yet,must be BS") but recently my roomate repeated the same story. Something to do with oxidation of aluminum/tin interacting with your food.

    Isn't Botulim toxin a fairly potent toxin/infectious disease or something? Is it possible to create a WMD just by leaving my hamburger helper out over night? Because that would fucking rock!

    Goon? Macho?

  2. #2
    Slipping coal into stockings with a little sumptin for mom.
    HappyOldGuy's Avatar
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    Acidic foods left in metal (esp aluminum) pans can leech the metal out which may be bad for you over the long run but is not even in the same galaxy as botulism.

  3. #3
    ignatzami's Avatar
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    Botulism outbreak in the US is incredibly rare. Most people that contract it are infants and they tend to contract it due to the lack of immune system response and lack of acidic stomach juices to combat ingested spores.

    In short, your roomie is wrong.

  4. #4
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    Matt Phillips's Avatar
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    I think the confusion centers around the aluminum cans that have contained contaminated soup in the past.
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  5. #5
    TheRuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elipson
    Isn't Botulim toxin a fairly potent toxin/infectious disease or something?
    Clostridium botulinum is a type of bacteria. Botulin toxin is the toxin that said bacteria produced. Botulism is the illness caused by said bacteria via said toxin.

    1) Toss uneaten food in the fridge.
    2) Throw out bulging cans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.

  6. #6
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    As my old Microbiology professor used to teach:

    one teaspoon of the botulism organism is enough to kill everyone in San Francisco.

  7. #7
    Vorpal's Avatar
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    Your roommate is an idiot. The toxin is made from anaerobic bacteria. Usually caused by improper canning. Leaving food out overnight is a quick way to give yourself a good case of food poisining from aerobic bacteria however.

  8. #8
    ignatzami's Avatar
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    or.... to solve the whole problem, don't eat canned goods (high in sodium) and don't make excessive quantities of food (no left overs to worry about)

    PROBLEM SOLVED!

  9. #9
    elipson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vorpal
    Your roommate is an idiot. The toxin is made from anaerobic bacteria. Usually caused by improper canning. Leaving food out overnight is a quick way to give yourself a good case of food poisining from aerobic bacteria however.


    My roomate is a sociology major. So I can't really argue with the idiot thing.... but I'm curious why you decided this.

    Condemning someone as an idiot because they don't take chemistry and biology is fairly arrogant. And I doubt she is the first person to believe an urban legend loosely based on some kind of fact.

    Assume for the moment that I don't know the difference between anaerobic and aerobic bacteria is.

  10. #10
    TheRuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elipson
    And I doubt she is the first person to believe an urban legend loosely based on some kind of fact.
    She also wouldn't be the first person to be an idiot.

    Cartman: Oh really? Well did you know that over one-fourth of people in America think that 9/11 was a conspiracy? Are you saying that one-fourth of Americans are retards?
    Kyle: Yes. I'm saying one-fourth of Americans are retards.
    Stan: Yeah, at least one-fourth.
    Kyle: Let's take a test sample: There's four of us, you're a retard, that's one-fourth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.

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