Because of the severity of neuroparalytic illness caused by botulinal neurotoxin, rapid detection for the specific toxin type is necessary during illness outbreaks suspected of being foodborne. Clostridium botulinum (a bacterium) generally produces one of four neurotoxin types (A, B, E, and F) associated with human illness. Neurotoxin type determination is important in determining the identification of the bacterium. A PCR method is employed to identify 24 hour botulinal cultures as potential type A, B, E and F neurotoxin producers as well as culture of other clostridial species which also produce botulinal neurotoxins. DNA extraction procedures include the removal of inhibitory substances that may affect amplification and detection. This procedure is rapid, sensitive, and specific for the identification of toxigenic C. botulinum.