Before you reach for a can of homemade preserves, ask yourself: Was it prepared properly? If not, it may contain botulinum—the most toxic substance on earth. Botulinum causes botulism, a rare but serious illness that attacks the body’s nerves.
IPC urges you to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have botulism. Symptoms typically begin between 12-36 hours after consuming the contaminated food.
Botulinum thrives in environments with low amounts of oxygen, like home-canned food. IPC urges caution when preparing and canning food. Do not eat food from a dented or broken can.
Seek immediate medical attention if you or a loved one have may eaten food containing botulinum.
IPC is here to help. Calls to our helpline, 1-800-222-1222, are free and confidential. Toxicology experts are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.