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What Is Botulism?

Botulism is a serious bacterial form of food poisoning. Usual symptoms are double vision, difficulty in swallowing and extreme weakness. In about one-third of cases there may be either vomiting or diarrhoea. About 10-20 per cent of all infections are fatal within 24 hours.

Botulism is extremely rare and most outbreaks result from eating food that has either been canned at home or inadequately canned. Food should never be eaten from damaged cans or from cans that are blown — that is with the ends blown outwards like the back of a spoon.

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