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Botulism is an infrequent foodborne illness, but a very serious one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report an average of 110 cases of Botulism a year, but only 10 to 30 outbreaks of foodborne Botulism are reported annually.

Botulism is caused by a specific toxin produced by bacteria, Clostridium Botulism. This toxin is one of the most powerful naturally occurring toxins. In fact, C. Botulism has been made into biochemical weapons by some rogue states. Exposure can cause paralysis and respiratory failure. Symptoms of foodborne botulism include double vision and drooping eyelids, slurred speech, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing and weak muscles. Symptoms usually begin within 16 to 38 hours after you eat the contaminated food but can occur in as few as 6 hours, or as long as 10 days afterwards. Complications of untreated botulism results in temporary paralysis. The paralysis sometimes improves slowly over several weeks.