Why might pasteurizing honey not be enough to make it completely safe for infants?

Infant botulism is caused by a toxin (a poison) from Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which live in soil and dust. The bacteria can get on surfaces like carpets and floors and also can contaminate honey. That’s why babies younger than 1 year old should never be given honey.

Is pasteurized honey OK for babies?

Infant botulism is caused by Clostridium botulinum spores, which are sometimes found in both pasteurized and unpasteurized honey. When an infant ingests honey, bacteria from these spores can grow and produce toxins that could lead to paralysis.

Can you get botulism from pasteurized honey?

The consumption of honey is typically in the raw form (not heated, pasteurized, sterilized, or irradiated), and honey can contain dormant (but living) botulism spores. The risk of infection comes from eating the honey and the spores colonizing the infant’s undeveloped gut.

Why does honey cause botulism in infants and not adults?

Infant botulism

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For reasons we do not understand, some infants get botulism when the spores get into their digestive tracts, grow, and produce the toxin. Honey can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism, so do not feed honey to children younger than 12 months. Honey is safe for people 1 year of age and older.

Why must honey or products containing honey not be served to infants?

Honey contains Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause infant botulism — a rare but highly dangerous poisoning that can cause muscle weakness and trouble breathing. Even a tiny amount of the sweet stuff has the potential to make your baby sick, so it’s important to steer clear altogether.

What happens if I give baby honey?

Clostridium bacteria that cause infant botulism usually thrive in soil and dust. They also can contaminate some foods — honey, in particular. Infant botulism can cause muscle weakness, with signs like poor sucking, a weak cry, constipation, and decreased muscle tone (floppiness).

Is infant botulism curable?

But it is very rare: Fewer than 100 cases of infant botulism happen each year in the United States, and most babies who do get botulism recover fully. Infant botulism is treatable, but because of its severity, it’s important to learn the symptoms so you can recognize it early.

How do you know if honey has botulism?

Signs that you may have botulism include: trouble speaking or swallowing. dry mouth. facial drooping and weakness.

Can you recover from botulism?

Many people recover fully, but it may take months and extended rehabilitation therapy. A different type of antitoxin, known as botulism immune globulin, is used to treat infants.

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How can you tell if food has botulism?

You cannot see, smell, or taste botulinum toxin – but taking even a small taste of food containing this toxin can be deadly.

  1. The container spurts liquid or foam when you open it.
  2. The food inside is discolored, moldy, or smells bad.

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What are the symptoms of infant botulism?

Patients with infant botulism may present with some or all the following signs and symptoms:

  • Constipation.
  • Poor feeding.
  • Ptosis.
  • Sluggish pupils.
  • Flattened facial expression.
  • Diminished suck and gag reflexes.
  • Weak and altered cry.
  • Respiratory difficulty and possibly respiratory arrest.

How is infant botulism treated?

Doctors treat infant botulism with an antitoxin called botulism immune globulin intravenous (BIGIV). They give this to babies as soon as possible. Babies with botulism who get BIGIV recover sooner and spend less time in the hospital than babies who don’t.

Why can’t babies have strawberries?

Berries, including strawberries, aren’t considered a highly allergenic food. But you may notice that they can cause a rash around your baby’s mouth. Acidic foods like berries, citrus fruits, and veggies, and tomatoes can cause irritation around the mouth, but this reaction shouldn’t be considered an allergy.

What foods should babies avoid?

Foods to avoid giving babies and young children

  • Salt. Babies should not eat much salt, as it’s not good for their kidneys. …
  • Sugar. Your baby does not need sugar. …
  • Saturated fat. …
  • Honey. …
  • Whole nuts and peanuts. …
  • Some cheeses. …
  • Raw and lightly cooked eggs. …
  • Rice drinks.

What can babies not eat?

Babies and young children shouldn’t eat hot dogs, nuts, seeds, round candies, popcorn, hard, raw fruits and vegetables, grapes, or peanut butter. These foods aren’t safe and may cause your child to choke. Many healthcare providers suggest these foods be saved until after your child is age 3 or 4.

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Infant botulism has been associated with raw honey. Avoid giving raw honey — even a tiny taste — to babies under age 1. Home-canned food can also become contaminated with C. botulinum spores.

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