Rapid cooling of canned vegetables in the autoclave cooling stage is necessary to avoid activation of sporulated thermophiles, including Bacillus coagulans. These microorganisms are responsible for flat souring, a process that ferments food by acidifying it. Although this thermophilic deterioration does not represent a risk to public health, it does render the canned product unfit for consumption, affecting its quality and flavor. Insufficient cooling that keeps the cannery at 50 °C (115 °F) for a period of time can activate these thermophiles. Therefore, rapid cooling is essential to maintain the quality of canned preserves.