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.
What foods are associated with botulism?
Foods commonly associated with botulism include:
- inadequately home-canned foods with low acid content, such as asparagus, green beans, beets and corn.
- lightly preserved foods such as fermented, salted or smoked fish and meat products.
What is the most common source of infant botulism?
Babies get infant botulism after consuming spores of the bacteria, which then grow and multiply in their intestinal tracts and make toxins. The source of infant botulism may be honey, but it’s more likely to be exposure to soil contaminated with the bacteria.
How common is infant botulism?
Who’s most at risk? About 90 percent of botulism cases occur in infants younger than 6 months old. Children under 12 months are also at a heightened risk of developing botulism.
What foods should one avoiding feeding an infant because of the risk of botulism?
One way to reduce the risk of botulism is to not give infants honey or any processed foods with honey before their first birthday. Honey is a proven source of the bacteria. If you have questions about other products to avoid, ask your doctor.
Can you survive botulism?
Survival and Complications
Today, fewer than 5 of every 100 people with botulism die. Even with antitoxin and intensive medical and nursing care, some people with botulism die from respiratory failure. Others die from infections or other problems caused by being paralyzed for weeks or months.
Can babies get botulism from breastmilk?
Botulism is not transmitted by breast milk. The Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program recommends continuing breast feeding or the feeding of expressed breast milk during the illness and recovery from infant botulism.
What is the incubation period for infant botulism?
Immunity to botulinum toxin does not develop in botulism. Botulism is not transmitted from person to person. The usual incubation period for foodborne botulism is 12 to 48 hours (range, 6 hours–8 days). In infant botulism, the incubation period is estimated at 3 to 30 days from the time of ingestion of spores.