Lesson 4f - O is for Oxygen

can of corn

Microorganisms that need oxygen (air) to grow are called aerobic.
When foods such as meat, spaghetti sauce or vegetables are canned, oxygen is excluded from the environment. Therefore, growth of aerobic organisms is controlled and the food is preserved. Such foods are shelf stable and do not require refrigeration until they are opened.
Some microorganisms will grow only in anaerobic conditions (in the absence of oxygen). Botulism, a rare type of foodborne illness, is caused by a specific type of bacteria called clostridium botulism that grows only in anaerobic conditions.
Improperly preserved home canned foods are a typical source of botulism. Home canned items can not be used in foodservices.
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