Clostridium Botulinum: Old Enemy, New Threat

(Webinar length:  1h 14m)

Overview:

Clostridium botulinum is the most serious cause of food poisoning. The toxin produced by this bacterium is extremely toxic and lethal. Being a spore former, this bacterium can survive in harsh conditions such as low water activity and pH. Food poisoning due to this bacterium is not common with poorly preserved home “canned” foods often seen as the cause. It is not widely present in the environment and has a strict growth requirement for anaerobic conditions. Cl. botulinum is the microorganism that manufacturers of canned/retort foods need to ensure is inactivated through what is known as the 12D process. Recently, whey protein concentrate, a powdered product produced by the dairy industry, was found to contain Cl. botulinum. This product is used in the manufacture of a variety of food products, including infant formula. Contamination of infant formula, could cause infant botulism – a relatively mild form of food poisoning in infants. This recent find may mean that manufacturers of products not traditionally believed to be a concern for Cl. botulinum contamination, may now need to reassess how these products are manufactured and tested.  

Areas covered in the webinar:

  • What is Clostridium botulinum?
  • Food poisoning symptoms
  • Types of products and case studies associated with food poisoning due to Cl. botulinum
  • Control of Cl. botulinum through retort processing
  • A potential new threat for different food products
  • Possible causes of contamination 
  • Control of Cl. botulinum in non-retort products  

Who will benefit from this webinar:

  • QA and QC Managers
  • Production Managers
  • Food Scientists and Technologists
  • Food Safety Personnel
  • Microbiologists and Food Processing Engineers
  • Sanitation managers
  • Governmental food safety agencies
  • Consulting organizations

Presenter--Dr. Steve Flint


Steve Flint

Steve Flint is a Professor in Food Safety and Microbiology and Director of the Food Division Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University in New Zealand. He is a graduate of Massey University as well. Steve started his working life in the pharmaceutical industry developing vaccines for farm animals. After dealing with animal health issues, he decided that the products animals produced were more interesting than the animals themselves so spent 20 years developing solutions to microbiological issues in the dairy industry, working as a scientist for the Fonterra Research Centre. Steve is now continuing his research at Massey University and inspiring students in the world of food microbiology. Since joining the IFNHH team in January 2008, Steve has been keen to share his experiences as an industrial research microbiologist through teaching and is enjoying expanding his research into new areas. Steve’s current research specialities are biofilms, rapid assays for microorganisms, and novel preservation systems and he has published over 90 scientific publications. Throughout his career in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, the dairy industry and now Massey University, Steve has maintained a passion for the subject of microbiology.


  • Item #: 0919dBotulism
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