The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to use certain jars of Earth’s Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast baby food because of the risk of contamination with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that can cause botulism, a life-threatening illness, or death. Consumers were 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 contain four jars of the apple peach barley along with other varieties. The food is part of the firm’s “2nd Vegetables, Fruits and Blends” line intended for babies 6 months and older. The food was distributed through retail stores and sold through the Earth’s Best Web site, www.earthsbest.com. If consumers have any of the specified jars in their home, they should not use it and destroy it immediately. No illnesses have been reported to the FDA or the manufacturer to date in connection with this problem. The affected baby food is as follows:
• Earth’s Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast (4.5 ounce jars); UPC Code: 23923-20223; Lid:PFGJ14NP; Expiration Date: EXP 14 SEP 08 A
• Earth’s Best Organic 2 Wholesome Breakfast Variety Pack (12 pack); UPC Code: 23923-20295; Expiration Date: 13 SEP 08
• Earth’s Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley (4.5 ounce jars within 12 pack); UPC Code: 23923-20223; Lid: PF6J14 NP; Expiration Date: EXP 14 SEP 08 A
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 well 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.
At press time, the recall initiated by Hain Celestial Group is still ongoing. Production and distribution of the product was suspended as the FDA and the company sought to determine the source of the problem. Hain Celestial Group distributed 4,072 cases of the specified individual jars consisting of 24 jars per case and 38,298 variety packs with the specified jars. Consumers who have questions should contact Hain Celestial Group at 1-800-434-4246.
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