The potential risk of toxin production by Clostridium botulinum in vacuum-packed and subsequently cooked potatoes (95 C for 40 min) was determined. Spores of both proteolytic and non-proteolytic C. botulinum survived the cooking process. Vacuum-packed cooked potatoes seemed to be an ideal substrate for C. botulinum to produce toxin. At storage temperatures of 10. 15 and 20 C, toxin production occurred before the product was spoiled. Only if stored at temperatures below 4 C can the product be guaranteed to have no potential public health risk.

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Author notes

1National Institute of Public Health.

2Institute for Storage and Processing of Agricultural Produce.