Prevention of botulism
Among infectious diseases that are transmitted mainly by food, botulism carries a great danger. Clostridium toxins, entering the human body, cause serious damage to the nervous system, which is directly related to the high mortality rate from this disease.
Given the widespread toxicogen sticks in nature, it is necessary to know about measures of prevention of botulism. Next, let's talk about what are the ways of prevention, what everyone can do at home to avoid intoxication, if it happened to use an infected product.
Brief epidemiological information
The disease develops when toxins enter the body. Clinical manifestations of the pathological process are associated with them.
There are 7 types of toxicogenic bacilli - A, B, C, D, E, F and G. They differ in accordance with the toxin they produce. Each type of clostridia is characterized by their presence in different products. For example, type A is more common in vegetable and fruit products and is characterized by the most severe clinical symptoms in poisoning. And type E prevails in canned fish. Meat preparations usually like type B sticks. This plays a large role in the selection of the type of antitoxic serum in the treatment and prevention of botulism.
Spores are produced by bacteria only in the absence of oxygen, so the danger is mainly canned food under tight lids. The toxin is destroyed by boiling for 10–20 minutes. But the spores are stable - they are neutralized by boiling for 3-5 hours, but at a temperature of 120⁰ C they collapse in a few minutes.
Clostridiums inhabit the intestines of warm-blooded animals, fish, and also in the soil. Products are contaminated due to land contamination or the movement of microorganisms from the intestines of carriers. Based on this knowledge, it is now appropriate to say how to influence the spread of botulism.
Types of botulism prevention
There are planned and emergency preventive measures. Routine prophylaxis for botulism includes compliance with sanitary rules for preparing canned food and vaccination. Emergency prevention - the introduction of specific serum. Let us dwell on each of them in more detail.
Routine botulinum prevention
Planned prevention of botulism everyone can do at home.
The first thing to start with preparing home-made products is to clean vegetables, mushrooms and berries from dirt and soil. Meat and fish should also be well washed with running water. Vegetable products are recommended before cooking brush. The dishes for rolling are thoroughly sterilized.
To prevent the formation of toxins with chopsticks in the intestine, the following recommendations should be observed.
- When salting products, the concentration of salt should be greater than 10%. That is, about 100 grams of salt should be taken per 100 grams of vegetables or mushrooms.
- Jam must contain more than 50% sugar, in these conditions, microbes will not be able to produce toxins. Or per 100 grams of berries or fruits should be more than 50 grams of sugar.
- An increase in the acidity of foods also blocks toxin formation. This is achievable due to the natural acidity of some berries and fruits. Meat products can be acidified with vinegar. It is recommended its content from 2% together with 10% salt.
- It is impossible to preserve spoiled products, as the favorite medium of reproduction of microorganisms, where rotting and decomposition occurs.
A few more rules:
- ready-made canned food is not worth buying in the market; use only factory-tested preforms for food;
- the contents of the swollen cans send in the trash;
- if the type of products has a clarified appearance, an unpleasant smell or a bitter taste - it is better not to risk your health and send them to the same address;
- in case of suspicion of botulism of unchanged products, they should be boiled for 10–20 minutes, cut into small pieces;
- prophylaxis of botulism lies in the use of food blanks under the capron lids, which completely eliminates the occurrence of intoxication, since oxygen remains and toxins under such conditions are not produced.
Specific prevention of botulism includes: vaccination and the introduction of a special serum.
Vaccine against botulism is rarely used. It creates a temporary immunity, requires re-introduction and is suitable only for people working in areas of increased risk of infection with botulism.
In the United States in 2009, a vaccine was created against a single type of neurotoxin, which is used once by injection into the nasal passages. However, it is useless for other types of toxigenic sticks. The work of scientists in this area is still ongoing.
If there is a risk or botulism infection has occurred, the introduction of antitoxic serum will be a measure of prevention of a specific nature. It is obtained by immunizing horses with known botulinum toxins. It can be monovalent, that is, containing antibodies against a single toxin and polyvalent - against several or all of the toxins. Serum is used for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes.
Prevention of antitoxic serum is carried out to people who ate the same food as the sick. In this case, use a single intramuscular injection in accordance with the instructions under the supervision of a physician. Prior to administration, a sample is made to determine the response of the body to the foreign protein. Its use is contraindicated for prophylactic purposes with a positive intracutaneous test due to the risk of developing a life-threatening allergic reaction. And also if there were once allergic complications after the introduction of such drugs.
Knowledge of measures to prevent botulism are essential for every housewife! Compliance with the technology of cleaning products, sterilizing dishes, creating the necessary concentration of preservative substances, the rules for using ready-made canned food are enough to prevent disease. Thanks to the creators of specific serum, infection can be avoided even with the occasional use of low-quality products, but it is better to use preventive measures in advance.