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Botulism Fears Prompt FDA to Warn Consumers Off Certain Earth's Best Baby Food

WASHINGTON - The FDA here said Friday it is warning consumers not to feed their babies baby food from 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 which can cause botulism.

FDA said the affected product was sold in single individual jars and in variety packs (which contains 4 jars of the apple peach barley in the pack 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, it said.

The food was distributed through retail stores and through Earth's Best's own Web site.

FDA warned consumers not to use the product "even if it does not look or smell spoiled."

As of Friday, no illnesses had been reported to FDA or the manufacturer to date in connection with the problem, the agency said.

The manufacturer, Hain Celestial Group, had initiated a recall of the food on February 9th. The recall is ongoing, FDA said. Production and distribution of the product has been suspended as FDA and the company work to determine the source of the problem, the agency said.

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.

FDA said the affected baby food is: Earth's Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome Breakfast (4.5 ounce jars) with the UPC code 23923-20223; Earth's Best Organic 2 Wholesome Breakfast Variety Pack (12 pack) with the UPC code 23923-20295; and Earth's Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley (4.5 ounce jars within 12 pack) 23923-20223.
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