FDA Warns About Baby Food Contamination
The Vermont Department of Health reinforced a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning issued February 16, 2007, not to use certain jars of Earth's Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast baby food. The baby food may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause botulism.
No illnesses have been reported to FDA or the manufacturer to date in connection with this problem. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.
The affected product was sold in single individual jars and in variety packs (which contains 4 jars of the apple peach barley in the pack along with other varieties). The food is part of the firm's "2nd Vegetables, Fruits and Blends" line intended for babies six months and older.
Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, usually causes illness within 18-36 hours of exposure. Initial indication of illness in infants is decreased frequency or absence of stools.
Other signs and symptoms noted are poor feeding, weak suck, lethargy, listlessness, weak cry, decreased body tone, and diminished overall movement.
Difficulty with swallowing may be evident as secretions drooling from the mouth. This may be followed by decreased respiratory effort which may lead to respiratory arrest from airway occlusion from unswallowed secretions.
Older populations who may be consuming the product as part of a pureed diet might experience symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, and progressive weakness from head to legs. Constipation and urinary retention are also common. Caregivers or people observing these problems should seek immediate medical attention for those affected.