April 26, 1924


JAMA. 1924;82(17):1364-1365. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02650430054014

A few years ago, Bronfenbrenner and Schlesinger 1 reported that the toxicity of the toxins of Bacillus botulinus might be greatly increased by acidification (approximately pH 4.0), but the kind of acid used was not mentioned in the published data. Since outbreaks of botulism have been reported from the consumption of home canned string beans and beets, served as salads and therefore containing vinegar,2 the matter has practical importance. However, Geiger and Gouwens 3 have found recently that there is apparently no increase in potency of the toxin of Bacillus botulinus at any hydrogen-ion concentration that was experimentally used, regardless of the length of time of exposure at icebox and room temperatures. In some of their experiments, home canned string beans and corn were used that had caused outbreaks of botulism in Montana and the state of Washington. It seems significant that these vegetables, corn and string beans,

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