Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dangerous Potatoes

What may seem like a harmless way to store potatoes may actually be a breeding ground for deadly bacteria.

Researchers investigating an outbreak of botulism in the United States in 1994 traced the source to a bacteria-produced toxin that formed when baked potatoes were stored in aluminum foil at room temperature.

Botulism can cause severe nerve damage and paralysis of both skeletal and respiratory muscles and, in extreme cases, even death.
Researchers recommend avoiding aluminum foil when cooking potatoes unless they are to be eaten or refrigerated immediately.

Source: The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 1998; 178, 172-177

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