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Cases of foodborne botulism often originate with home-canned foods with low acid content, such as asparagus, green beans, beets, and corn. Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism, thrives in sealed containers because it is anaerobic, meaning it can survive and grow with little or no oxygen. Outbreaks of botulism, however, are often from more unusual sources such as baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil but not kept hot, and tomatoes.

Last Updated February 26, 2007