One of the most common questions I hear is, “can you get botulism from honey?” The answer is yes, you can get botulism from honey, but it is extremely rare. In today’s blog post, I’ll answer this common question and explain how honey can actually help protect you from botulism. Keep reading to learn more!
What causes botulism?
Botulism is a potentially fatal illness caused by Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that naturally thrives in soil and water.
Botulism is characterized by muscle weakness, spasms, and paralysis and can lead to respiratory failure and brain damage. If the bacteria reach the nervous system, paralysis can result in death.
The bacteria that cause botulism are well known to grow in improperly canned or jarred foods, but the condition is also caused by eating food that has been contaminated by soil. Botulism can also be caused by improperly preserving food, such as by leaving it in refrigerators or freezers after it has been prepared.
Clostridium botulinum also thrives in soil, and soil contamination from animal feces or contaminated canned food can contaminate fruits and vegetables. These foods can be particularly dangerous for young children, who are most at risk for developing botulism.
What are the symptoms of botulism?
Botulism is a life-threatening condition caused by ingesting the spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
The bacteria is common in soil and produces a potent poison called botulinum toxin, which disrupts the signals that tell the brain and muscles to contract. Botulinum toxin can paralyze breathing muscles, so victims of botulism often die from suffocation.
Botulism is a serious condition, and symptoms may be hard to detect in its early stages. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor immediately if you suspect that you or your child have been poisoned.
Symptoms of botulism include:
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Stomach pain
- Blurred vision
- Occasional double vision