Drying can be used to preserve foods because the absence of water inhibits the action of enzymes. Many foods, including peas, beans, raisins, and other fruits, are often preserved by drying. Yeast used in baking also can be preserved by drying. Endospores presents on such foods cab survive drying, but they do not produce toxins. Dried pepperoni sausage and smoked fish retain enough moisture for microorganism to grow. Because smoked fish is not cooked, eating it poises a risk of infection. Sealing such fish in plastic bags creates conditions that allow anaerobes such as Clostridium botulinum to grow.
Drying also naturally minimizes the spread o infectious agents. Some bacteria, such as Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis, are extremely sensitive to drying and die almost immediately on a dry surface; thus they can be prevented from spreading by keeping toilet seats and other bathroom fixtures dry. Drying of laundry in dryers or in the sunshine also destroys pathogens.