Prevention of botulism

Learn how botulism can be prevented.

How to prevent botulism

There is no vaccination to protect you against botulism.

You can help prevent botulism by following safe food handling practices, such as:

  • refrigerating leftovers promptly
  • using foods that are stored in oil within 10 days of opening
  • keeping foods stored in oil, like vegetables and herbs, in the fridge
  • making sure products marked ‘keep refrigerated’ are kept in the fridge
  • learning about home canning safety if you prepare your own canned goods
  • keeping baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil hot until served, or refrigerated

Never eat food from cans that are dented, bulging or leaking. This could mean the contents are contaminated and may not be safe to eat.

How infant botulism can be prevented

To prevent infant botulism, never give honey to an infant. Honey can contain the spores of the bacteria that produce the botulism toxin.

After 1 year of age, children have developed bacteria in their intestines that protect against botulism.

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