Botulism toxin is produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria and toxin can often be found in home canned foods that have not been properly prepared, unrefrigerated homemade foods such as salsa, garlic and herbs in oil, and traditionally prepared salted or fermented seafood. Very small amounts, even a small taste, can cause severe illness and death.
Illness from botulism toxin can happen within a few hours or up to 10 days after eating food containing Clostridium botulinum. Symptoms of illness can include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and increasing muscle weakness usually affecting the upper part of the body, but then moves down to the legs. The toxin can paralyze breathing muscles which can cause death. If you have any of these symptoms, especially after eating home-canned food, go to a hospital immediately.