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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
See 'Food Poisoning'