Canned Food Poisoning Symptoms

The food poisoning you get from canned food is called botulism. It is most common in home-canned goods, but it is also possible to pick it up from processed canned foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), botulism is a serious poison that is caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Symptoms of botulism food poisoning can mimic other illnesses, but if you have eaten food that you suspect may be tainted, pay close attention to the possible symptoms. The CDC also reports that these symptoms can begin as soon as six hours after consuming tainted food, or as late as 10 days after.

Close-up of an assortment of canned foods. (Image: conejota/iStock/Getty Images)

Vision Problems

Vision problems are a common symptom of botulism. Double vision and blurry vision are the typical symptoms. While not directly associated with the vision, another symptom that involves the eyes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, are eyelids that appear droopy.

Mouth and GI Symptoms

Symptoms that affect the mouth are dry mouth and trouble swallowing. Because the botulism toxin affects the nerves, muscle weakness occurs. This weakness around the mouth can result in slurred speech. The National Institutes of Health states that symptoms that arise in the gastrointestinal tract are nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Nervous System Symptoms

The symptoms mentioned above, such as muscle weakness, slurred speech and trouble swallowing, are all due to the botulism toxin's affects the nervous system. According to the New York State Department of Health, when botulism affects the nerves, it weakens muscle tone throughout the body. It often starts with the shoulders, then progresses down the arms, then thighs and calves, and into the feet. If this muscle weakness is ignored, and the botulism is untreated, the result can be paralysis.

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