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Author Topic: Honey and Botulism  (Read 2922 times)
KONASDAD
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« on: October 12, 2006, 11:55:39 AM »

I did my first mini-extraction and got some honey. I gave a bottle to my brother who has two children 1 and 4yrs. His wife returned the honey unopened and said her pediatric physician advsises children should not eat honey b/c they can/will get botulism. HUH? Can this be accurate?
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rsilver000
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006, 01:11:37 PM »

True, but only if they are 1 year of age.  It is a matter of letting their immune system build up.  No proble with honey after that.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006, 01:17:17 PM »

I don't know the specifics, but I have read that honey may result in infantile botulism in children 1 yr or less.  I'm sure there is some research somewhere, but I make it a habit to advise people I sell honey to, not to feed it to infants.  I think a four year old is way past any danger, but it's much easier to take the honey back, than risk any type of exposure.  Along similar lines, I was amazed this year when the wives of several people I sold to called to ask about pastuerization of my honey.  They were concerned that regardless of my stainless equipment, sterilization of my bottles etc, I did not have an FDA certificate ensureing the purity of my honey.  I assured them there was nothing wrong with the honey, but for their peace of mind, I bought the honey back from them immediately.  I told them they should stick with the cooked, store shelf stuff at the supermarket.  And to look closely at the labels, because unheated, lightly filtered honey was now taking up half the space on the shelves.  Don't get hoodwinked into eating the real thing.
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kawayanan
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2006, 01:18:05 PM »

It is very common to recommend that children under 1 yr do not eat honey.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA142

http://www.nutriwatch.org/06FST/honey.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infant-botulism/HQ00854

Spores of C. botulinum are very common in nature (soil, dust, etc), and can be found in many uncooked foods or improterly stored food (bad canning).  For older children and adults, the spores are generally not dangerous.  Infants digestive systems are not fully established and botulism can result.  I beleive that it is commonly suggested that infants under 1 yr are not fed any raw foods.  


Aside from honey, there are a good number of foods that are commonly suggested to avoid with infants (many for allergy reasons): peanuts, wheat, shellfish, egg whites, citrus, etc.


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Scadsobees
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006, 01:31:19 PM »

And it isn't the same kind of botulism that we get from drinking botled carrot juice (not that I'd do that just on principle!).  That is from the botulism releasing toxins into the food, and the mass of toxins is what hurts people.

As Kawayanan wrote, it is the case that infants don't have the flora and the acidity in their system yet, the botulism bacteria can become established in their intestines, and the slow but steady release of toxins in these small children causes problems, not instant, but long lasting fatigue and general malaise that can degrade into more serious problems.

The problems come in when people sweeten pacifiers with honey to get little babies to suck.

That being said, if a child is eating real food (ie  meat or other proteins) then it is probably Ok to eat honey.  1 yr old is a general guideline, and guidelines tend to err on the side of caution.  I would with customers.

I sense that your sister-in-law is a little overprotective.  The kids probably eat raw vegetables(since botulism lives in the dirt), and those are a lot more deadly than honey!!!
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Rick
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2006, 11:29:48 PM »

Not too far back in recent history feeding honey to babies was actually recommended. Earlier versions of ‘ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture’ (mine is the 36th ed.) listed infant formulas for babies no older than one month that contained honey.

The recommendation today is that babies under 1 year of age not be fed honey as a safety precaution. Even still, it is probably unlikely a baby will actually sicken and die if fed honey, but why take the chance.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/w0076e/w0076e06.htm#2.9
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Mici
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006, 09:42:34 AM »

how babyies are raised differes from one year to another. ask your parents and your wife's parents how they raised you. if you think nothing's wrong with you, it should work for your baby to.

my mom said this at least a million times. when my brother was born it was recommended to feed scraped fruits and stuff to babyes and all, but when i was growing up, it was supposed to be a sin!!! she did the same, and i'm just fine, and besides small kids have to eat at least two handfulls of dirt, more of a joke, but it's true, to develope imunne system
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 10:13:51 AM »

we are to clean.  people get e. coli off their veggies, salmonella from the petting zoo, and kids get sick on honey.  it doesn't happen to farm kids.  

i took my granddaughter to a tumbling class, and was amazed to see a young mother clean her sons hands with the sanitizer crap when the class was done.  i wondered if she tracked around behind him at school and cleaned his hands after he played on the jungle gym....oh wait, they don't have those any more....someone might get hurt!

enjoy your honey.  they'll come around in a couple of years.
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2006, 06:05:32 AM »

I think the typical label on honey concerning feeding to children is poorly worded.  ANY raw food is not recomended for children under 1 year old.  Honey is not specifically a problem.  It kind of implies that honey isn't good for you, but honey isn't good for a child in the same way raw vegatables aren't.
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Mici
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2006, 12:02:09 PM »

no no no, i completely agree with the fact you shouldn't feed it to infants and very small children. it's logical, if you eat some medicine for a year and one day stop it, you'll surely get sick. it disables normal development of childrens immune system, since he does not need one-honey protects him. but on the other hand,a teaspoon of honey every now and then, shouldn't make that big of a deal.

what other way can you eat honey besides raw.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2006, 06:35:03 PM »

When I was young standard "formula" for newborns was "Pet" milk and honey...  obviously we weren't all dying or they wouldn't have been doing that since the 40's.  So I tend to agree.  I think living in a "sterile" world is why kids today all have allergies, colds, tubes in their ears etc.
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limyw
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2006, 11:51:05 AM »

Quote from: Mici
when my brother was born it was recommended to feed scraped fruits and stuff to babyes


Here we Asian like to feed new born babies with some honey.
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2006, 08:55:34 PM »

My wife is Brazilian and she says they always feed honey to the babies.
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2006, 09:57:14 PM »

Raw honey may hold some pathogens, which is why most commercially produced honey (national and area labels) are pasturized.  Pasturized or Homogenized honey should be safe.
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Dick Allen
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2006, 12:54:21 AM »

Clostridium botulinum spores are highly resistant to killing by heat. Temperatures of 121º C (250º F) or higher are needed to kill the spore.

Honey is not “pasteurized” to that high a temperature.

It probably is best “just to be safe”  to not feed honey to an infant, but as mentioned before, the probability of a baby dying from consuming honey is not high.
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Finsky
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2006, 04:04:16 AM »

If you look from google reports what botulism means you get facts what is the issue.

Here botulism in Norway tells that there are dead cases and officials try avoid these cases. http://www.eurosurveillance.org/em/v04n01/0401-225.asp

What common people does it is different question.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2006, 04:59:19 PM »

Awesome info gang, thanx. More kids should get dirty and stuff. I always believed that i get sick less frequently than my brother because i lived in the woods and fields as a kid and he was a TV kid. Exposure is the key.
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Zoot
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2006, 10:41:04 PM »

A year or so back a gentleman fro the U. of Penn, completed a study (as usual I can't find any documnetation for it) that concluded, among other things, that children raised on farms, around animals, "dirt", etc almost never manifest allergies, ear problems, attention problems, etc. With children raised in the oh so fashionably sterile homes of upscale surburbia such maladies are rampant and on the increase.
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