posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 05:50 AM
Forgive me but you are making a common mistake in assuming that pressure has anything to do with sterilisation processes. The pressure is needed
solely to enable to internal temperature to achieve a high enough level for a long enough period. The pressure is necessary to enable the higher
resultant temperature so that the water in the items does not boil at the usual 100 c but is still in liquid form at the higher 121c.
121c for 15 minutes is commonly refrerred to as the standard sterilising cycle.
Clostridium Botulinum contamination of food is not normally (although can be) caused by the bacterium itself but by the resting stage of the organism
such as spores. These are very hardy beasties and the process of food prep is designed to minimise the presence of them. The actual bacterium istelf
is just as susceptible to heat damage as any other vegetative cell (very).
In addition although the inside of a can is sealed while hot, it is not normally without oxygen, this can of course be the case if designed to be so
however it is not normal for this to be so. Thus for the anaerobic organisms to flourish, other bacterial organims normally have to use up the oxygen
first, create the anaerobic conditions and bang there goes the botulinum..It is also the toxin that is produced by the cells that is toxic not the
Half of Hollywood would look significantly different without the toxin . This is where the so called "botox" comes from Botulism toxin is a
neurotoxin and can have the effects we see on faces in your lungs et al if you eat it.
The point is that botulism contamination is rare as specific circumstances have to be met for it to flourish. If those are met however the effects can
be devastating. (fatal)