Does Cooking Canned Food Kill Botulism?

It is a well known fact that canned food can be a great way to preserve food for longer periods of time, and a great way to save money too. But one question that often gets raised is, does cooking canned food kill botulism? The answer is, yes it does.

Botulism is a serious and potentially life threatening illness that is caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria can be found in many places, including soil and improperly canned foods.

The spores of this bacteria are quite resilient and can survive extreme temperatures as high as 250°F (121°C). When these spores come in contact with oxygen they begin to multiply and release toxins which can cause severe illness if consumed.

How Does Cooking Kill Botulism?

Cooking canned food properly will kill any botulism present in the food. A temperature of at least 185°F (85°C) must be reached and maintained for at least 5 minutes in order to kill any botulism present in the canned food. Pressure cookers are another effective method for killing botulism as they reach much higher temperatures than traditional cooking methods.

What Foods Should Be Cooked?

Any foods that have been preserved using a canning process should be cooked before consumption to ensure any potential botulism spores have been killed off. This includes vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, soups, stews, sauces and jams. It is also important to note that these foods should not be eaten raw or undercooked as this could lead to potential contamination with botulism spores.


In conclusion, cooking canned food properly will kill any botulism present in the food, making it safe for consumption. It is important to make sure that all foods preserved using a canning process are cooked thoroughly before consumption in order to avoid any potential contamination with dangerous botulism spores.