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Small Recall But Significant

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 4:19 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Foodborne Illness, Public Health, Baby Food, Plum Organics

A small recall of baby food that was contaminated with botulism.


IMAGE SOURCE: Plum Organics Web site

This is a small recall affecting only one batch of baby food, but significant in the contaminant.

Botulism was found in only one batch of Plum Organics’ 4.22-ounce apple and carrot portable pouch baby food.

The "Use By" date is May 21, 2010. The UPC Code is 890180001221.

The baby food was sold at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores.

Oct 23 * Clarification/ Correction* to story from Plum Organics' Kim Hale via e-mail:

"As mentioned, in the second paragraph you stated "botulism was found...". That is not the case.

"There is no evidence of botulism in the the Plum Organics Apple & Carrot Baby Food in Portable Pouches with a Best By date of May 21, 2010 and UPC #890180001221. The recall was undertaken as a precaution due to a risk of potential contamination with Clostridium botulinum, which can -- but does not necessarily -- cause botulism. No illnesses have been reported and we have no indication that anyone has been harmed by this product. "

IB News apologizes for the error which was not intentional, however the company press releases could have been clearer as Kim Hale stated above. *

Consumers can return the product to the store for a full refund. The company says no other products are affected.

Plum Organics of Emeryville, California, blames a “mixing error” for the recall issued Monday and says it was undertaken as a precaution due to contamination by Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism. It is also the main paralytic agent in Botox.

Botulism can be serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.

The onset of symptoms of botulism poisoning is usually 18 to 36 hours after ingesting the food with the toxin, though it has taken up to eight days to see symptoms. Weakness, vertigo, double vision and difficulty speaking and swallowing can mark botulism poisoning.

Mortality is high is not treated immediately.

Plum Organics food scientist, Dr. Paul Gerhardt, says “The product did not meet the FDA guidelines for proper acidity level.”

Botulism poisoning can come from home-canned goods or from produce such as chopped garlic in oil, chili peppers, tomatoes, carrot juice, and fermented fish. Oils that have garlic or herbs should be refrigerated.

Growth of the bacterium can be prevented by high acidity.

The FDA issued a guide for storing low-acid juices such as carrot juice. #

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