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A serious and rare form of poisoning resulting from eating improperly canned or preserved foods contaminated with a toxic produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum.  Disturbances of the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as progressive muscular paralysis is caused by this toxin.  Clostridium botulinum produces spores that resist salting, boiling, smoking and some forms of pickling.  The spores thrive in canned or poorly preserved food in the absence of air.  Ingestion of even tiny amounts of the toxin can lead to severe.  The symptoms of botulism will first occur within eight to thirty six hours of ingesting the contaminated food.  They include difficulties in speaking and swallowing; vomiting and nausea; and double vision.  Immediate treatment is vital.  In children, the toxin can form in the body after the ingestion of foods contaminated with the bacterium; such as honey.

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