The effects of irradiation, initial O2, initial CO2 and the presence of an O2 and CO2 absorbent on toxin production by Clostridium botulinum in inoculated pork stored at 15°C were studied using a factorial experiment. Toxin production occurred faster in samples initially packaged with 20% O2, compared to samples packaged with 100% N2. The presence of CO2 in the package headspace was not a significant factor affecting time until toxin detection. Irradiation was significant in delaying the time until toxin detection in samples initially packaged with 20% O2 but not in other treatments. Sensory rejection, based primarily on discoloration, occurred within 7 to 14 d, irrespective of treatment. All samples were spoiled before they became toxic.

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