• Conquering spores is not an easy process because spore growth can occur anywhere. There are food safety precautions you can take. Do not hold food in the danger zone, the temperature range in which most bacteria can grow. This range is usually below 40° F (4° C). Some pathogenic bacteria can grow at 32° F (0° C) or above 140° F (60° C). Spores can germinate into pathogenic bacteria in the danger zone and multiply in food. For example, any cooked dish will generally have all the bacteria killed, but not the spores. When in doubt, throw the food out! (Also see Danger Zone.) Spore growth is also relevant to improperly canned foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes sure that canned foods are processed in a safe manner. Consumers should be careful not to buy cans with dents, bulges, leaks, or rust spots. A failure in the canning process can allow spores to generate gas and germinate into pathogenic bacteria. (Also see Canning.) Source: Excerpted from FDA/CFSAN Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide, September 2001

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