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Home Industry News Parents must not give babies honey, says FSA

Parents must not give babies honey, says FSA

4th June 2010

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has warned parents not to give honey to babies aged less than a year old.

This warning comes in response to a recent case in which a 15-week-old baby contracted infant botulism, a rare but “very serious” illness.

In the past 30 years, there have only been 11 confirmed cases of infant botulism, but three of these have occurred in the past year and all have had possible links to honey.

Sam Montel, nutritionist at the FSA, said: “Although it might be tempting to give honey to your baby to ease coughs, infant botulism is a very serious illness and it simply isn’t worth the risk.”

The nutritionist stated that babies require only breast milk or infant formula for the first six months of their lives, as well as advising against providing young children with sweeteners or sugary foods in order to prevent tooth decay.

Honey is safe for children above the age of one, but a younger baby’s gut is not sufficiently developed to be able to fight off the botulism bacteria.

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