Botulinum toxin is dangerous and you need to be very careful!


Do you love homemade sausages, salami, charcuterie, pickled vegetables or other great delicacies? Of course you do because the unique taste cannot be compared with anything sold in today’s supermarkets however, you need to be very careful while producing and storing these homemade products. The danger is called the botulinum toxin. We shall look at this poisonous substance in more detail, and also how to make sure that your products do not contain this dangerous poison.

Clostridium botulinum

Sausage or can poison is known as botulinum toxin. The word botulus is Latin and may be translated as a sausage. It is a polypeptide two-component substance, which is the result of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. The poison is produce under anaerobic conditions and therefore no exposure to air is needed. An environment with pH from 4.8 to 8.5 and a temperature of around 30 °C is ideal for the creation of this poison.

Botulinum toxin


Very efficient poison

Botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous natural poisons. Consuming this poison will cause a disease called botulism. It is a very strong substance which easily resists HCI, gastric juices and digestion processes. It is absorbed by the mucous membrane and blood and the lymphatic system transports it around the body. Botulinum can be destroyed by temperatures exceeding 60 °C.

Where is botulinum toxin found?

Basically any food that is contaminated with spores of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Improperly stored canned goods or sausages, or other foods, are the main candidate, because a very small number of these foods went through a temperature of 121 °C. This temperature will destroy the bacteria.


Photo: Radek Štěpán

Careful canning and boiling is the key

Ideally, you should do canning twice, possibly in a pressure cooker. As for sausages, you should boil them in hot water before consuming. If you cook sausages before consuming, you know for sure that you are consuming food that is not harmful. The good news is that experienced butchers and meet producers are very careful when making homemade delicacies so, you do not need to worry about those types of food.

Preview photo: Radek Štěpán

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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