MANUAL OF NAVAL PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
(3) Exotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum cause a highly
publicized but an increasingly rare disease called botulism. This disease,
which causes death in about 18% of patients even with adequate treatment,
is most frequently associated with home-canned low-acid foods (vegetables
and fruits) which have been improperly processed. Ingestion of
inadequately cooked toxin-containing food leads to nerve toxicity
manifested by symptoms of weakness, headache, and dizziness, and sometimes
death due to respiratory or cardiac failure. Cases of botulism have also
resulted from home-canned meats and fish, smoked fish, and improperly
prepared commercial products, such as vichyssoise soup and potpies.
(4) Toxins produced in food contaminated by Bacillus cereus,
Clostridium perfringens, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus also cause foodborne
(5) Natural poisons or intoxicants found in certain plants and
animal. Some foods are poisonous at the time they are harvested. Many of
the poisons in these foods tend to attack the nervous system resulting in
such symptoms as weakness or paralysis, numbness, tingling of the ears,
apprehension and even death. Some fish and shellfish concentrate poisons
produced by toxic plankton. Certain fish (grouper, snapper, jack, and
barracuda) concentrate ciguatoxin, while mollusks (clams, oysters,
scallops, and mussels) concentrate the toxin associated with "red tide."
Naturally poisonous plants and animals include certain mushroom species and
certain tropical fish (puffer type fish and ocean sunfish).
(6) Poisons may be intentionally or incidentally introduced in
foods as a result of production, processing, transportation or storing.
Chemical poisonings may be caused by arsenic residue of spray on fruits or
vegetables cadmium or zinc dissolved by acid foods, such as a lemonade
gelatin, tomatoes etc., cadmium plated or galvanized pitchers or cans; or
exposure of food and food service equipment to insecticides or other
chemicals such as cleaning compounds. Chemical poisonings usually cause
violent nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea very shortly after ingestion.