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  • 4/13/2013

Warning! Honey is not for babies!

taha,very nice and cute baby

Although honey is a delicious natural sweeter, it should not be fed to infants under one year of age because of the risk of infant botulism. In the United States, most honey products are labeled to indicate this, although the reason why is not spelled out, which confuses some consumers. In addition, the label does not specify that infants should not be fed any honey products, including baked goods with honey in them. Infant botulism is a type of food poisoning that can result in death.

Honey may contain botulism spores which can lead to botulism poisoning. There are some areas of the country where the possible contamination of honey with botulism spores is higher due to the soil. Soil contains botulism spores/bacteria and the flora that bees use to feed on grows in that soil. Also, disturbed soil containing the spores may directly settle upon hives for example - and thus the spores themselves could contaminate the honey as well. Honey is mostly consumed in raw form and is typically not pasteurized, sterilized or radiated. Even pasteurized honey can contain botulism spores and should not be given to children under one year of age.

In adults, the amount of botulism spores ingested (if any) from honey is really quite negligible because we have mature intestines. The intestines of an adult contain enough acids to counteract the production of toxins the botulism bacteria produce. Infants, however, do not have a completely matured digestive system and are susceptible to botulism food poisoning. Once an infant reaches the age of 1 year or older, their intestines have a balance of acids that help destroy and fight off any toxins that the botulism bacteria produce.

Can My Baby Eat Baked Goods With Honey?

The botulism spores can only be killed by the high heat which can be obtained in a pressure canner. The toxin (that is produced in anaerobic conditions) can only be destroyed by boiling. So technically, honey is not safe for infants even in cooked form such as in baked foods like breads. Botulism spores will NOT be destroyed during and under household cooking methods and temperatures.

Infant botulism can be deadly if not recognized early, and because of the widespread nature of the toxin, parents should recognize the signs of botulism, which begins with constipation. An infant suffering from botulism will also exhibit nervous system damage, which manifests as muscle weakness. As a result of the muscle weakness, infants with botulism will cry more weakly, have difficulty feeding, and have a limp and floppy appearance. Infant botulism also results in lethargy.

Infants are most at risk in the first six months of life, and parents should take note of any health or behavioral changes in their children, while taking precautions to avoid exposure to the botulism toxin. Luckily, infection is very rare thanks to increased awareness and parent vigilance, as well as cleaner food processing and handling techniques.


Sources: wisegeek.org

wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com

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