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pH

A scale for measuring acidity or alkalinity. The scale runs from 0-14; 7 indicating neutrality (below being acid, higher readings alkaline). Human saliva is about 6.3-6.4, and if mouth washes etc. are used it's important that they should maintain this balance. Clostridium botulinum (botulism) thrives in food if conditions are over 4.5, particularly in oxygen-free conditions (such as vacuum-packs). Here are a few typical food examples -

Citrus Fruit 2.3-3.8

Vinegar2.4-2.8

Wine2.8-3.2

Apples3.0-3.3

Peaches3.4-3.6

Yoghurt4.0-4.5

Beer4.1-4.3

Black Coffee5.0-5.1

Potatoes5.4-5.8

Bread5.4-6.5

Meat5.5-6.5

Green Vegetables5.6-5.9

Hard Cheese5.6-6.2

Sardines (tinned)6.2-6.4

Poultry6.4-6.6

Milk6.5-6.7

See 'Food Poisoning'

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