By Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail, 6/7/2010
Parents are being warned not to feed babies under 12 months honey because of the risk of botulism.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued the advice after a confirmed case of the rare but serious illness infant botulism.
There have been only 11 confirmed cases of infant botulism in the past 30 years, but three of these have occurred in the past year and all have had possible links to honey.
The most recent case involved a 15-week-old baby.
The FSA said although it is not absolutely clear eating honey caused the illness in these cases, honey had definitely been eaten by the infants.
Botulism is caused by a germ, which can lie dormant in soil or dust and occasionally gets into honey. If the germ gets into a baby’s intestine it can grow and produce a toxin or poison, leading to infant botulism.
Honey is safe for children over the age of one, but a younger baby’s gut is not sufficiently developed to be able to fight off the bacteria…
For more information, see: Only 15 Percent of Infant Botulism Cases Attributed to Honey