Sliced fresh celery pieces were placed in barrier pouches (1 mm Nylon/2.5 mm polyethylene) and then inoculated with types A, B, and E Clostridium botulinum spores (105/454 g). Pouches were sealed after evacuating, flushing with nitrogen, or without alteration, and were then incubated at 7 or 21 C for up to 8 weeks. None of these inoculated samples yielded botulinum toxin. Fortification of vacuum-packaged celery with nutrient broth resulted in toxin production at 21 C after 8 weeks. All results indicated that fresh celery held anaerobically under simulated commercial refrigerated storage conditions will not support growth and toxin production by C. botulinum because of nutrient insufficiency or other inhibition factors.

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