Fermup The Fermented Food Podcast

Episode 14: The Botulism Bogeyman and Other Fermented Fears

This week we confront Botulism and other fears of food fermentation. Can you contract botulism from leaving vegetables to ferment at room temperature? The short answer is no. But listen in for a deeper understanding of why this doesn’t happen, where botulism does occur and when these fears originated.

Then we finish up with a brief discussion of Chicago’s first Kimchi Challenge and all of the wonderful tastes and flavors.

Show notes:

Clostridium botulinum by Matthias M.

[National Botulism Surveillance CDC](https://www.cdc.gov/nationalsurveillance/botulism_surveillance.html)

Since 1973, the CDC has maintained an intensive National Botulism Surveillance System for cases of botulism in the United States. Because the CDC, Alaska and California are the only sources of botulism antitoxin administered in the United States, nearly all recognized cases of botulism are reported. Summaries available as PDFs from 2001 to 2011.

[Botulism, General Information CDC](https://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/botulism/)

Again, from the CDC website, this link provides good basic frequently asked questions about Botulism and Clostridium botulinum.

[Fact Sheet on Clostridium botulinum USDA](https://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Clostridium_botulinum/index.asp)

Similar to the previous link but from the USDA with a focus on foodborne safety and illness.

[Bacteria HowStuffWorks](https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/bacteria-info2.htm)

Learn more about how bacteria, and specifically, endospores work in the real world. Fun facts such as, “Some endospores can survive for centuries.” That’s crazy!

[Bacterial Endospores Cornell](https://micro.cornell.edu/cals/micro/research/labs/angert-lab/bacterialendo.cfm)

Cornell University provides a deeper look at endospores through structure and purpose. Very intriguing stuff. These survival tactics are pretty amazing even if they do have the potential to cause human damage.

[Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Cucumber Fermentation Brines PDF)](https://ncsu.edu/foodscience/USDAARS/Acrobatpubs/P351-375/p373.pdf)

Six page paper on the awesome powers of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) against their foes such as E. coli and botulism. Go LAB!

[Kimchi Challenge Chicago Good Food Festival](https://goodfoodfestivals.com/chicago/saturday-festival/kimchi-challenge/)

If you missed the Kimchi Challenge, we will have a FermUp article posted soon, but in the meantime, here is a link to the descriptions of the judges and chef participants.

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