Can botulism be prevented?

Yes, you can take steps to help prevent the most common types of botulism.

Foodborne botulism:

  • Refrigerate foods within 2 hours after cooking. Proper refrigeration prevents the bacteria from producing spores.
  • Cook food thoroughly.
  • Avoid food containers that appear damaged or bulging. (These can be signs of gas produced by the bacteria.)

Infant botulism: Do not give honey to babies under 1 year old.

Wound botulism:

  • Do not abuse injectable drugs.
  • Seek medical treatment for a wound with signs of infection including redness, tenderness, swelling or pus
  • Clean wounds contaminated by dirt and soil thoroughly.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/14/2018.


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