How Fast Does Botulism Grow in Canned Food?

Botulism is a dangerous and potentially deadly foodborne illness caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria produce a toxin that, when ingested, can cause paralysis and even death. Botulism is particularly dangerous because it can grow in canned food if the food isn’t properly prepared or stored.

When food is canned, it’s heated to a high temperature to kill any bacteria present. If the temperature isn’t high enough, though, some of the bacteria may survive and begin to multiply. Canned foods that are stored at room temperature are especially susceptible to botulism growth because they provide an ideal environment for the bacteria to thrive in.

Botulism grows relatively slowly in canned food, so it could take days or even weeks for symptoms of botulism poisoning to appear after eating contaminated food. It’s important to note that there may be no visible signs that a can of food has been contaminated with botulism, so it’s important to throw out any cans that are bulging or leaking as they may contain the toxin-producing bacteria.

It’s also important to follow safe canning practices when preparing or storing canned foods. Foods should be heated for the appropriate amount of time at the correct temperature in order to ensure all bacteria have been killed before sealing them in cans. Additionally, cans should be stored away from heat sources like stoves and radiators as this could increase the risk of botulism growth.


In conclusion, botulism can grow in canned food if proper preparation and storage techniques are not followed. While it grows relatively slowly, symptoms may not appear for days or weeks after eating contaminated food. To reduce your risk of contracting botulism poisoning from canned food it is important to follow safe canning practices, store cans away from heat sources, and discard any cans that are bulging or leaking.