Honey Botulism

My daughter came home from work today concerned that I might die from botulism. Someone told her honey contains botulism that is a form of food poisoning that can kill you.


Yes it does and yes it can, but I won’t die from drinking honey in my tea. I am not a doctor and have no medical training. But let me explain what I’ve researched.

I drink a healthy honey-lemon-ginger “tea” almost every morning and have been for a couple of years . It builds up my immune system so I don’t get sick as often. And because I use local raw honey, it also helps build up a resistance to local allergens. I haven’t gotten the flu in years and I haven’t had allergy problems for the past few years. We have huge oak trees in our yard, so allergy season was pretty rough around here for a while.

I was selling jars of the honey with lemon and ginger for a while and always told people not to give it to children under one year of age. Why? Because a babies system is not developed enough to digest the botulism that naturally occurs in honey.

Under the right conditions, Clostridium botulinum releases a toxin into the intestines that is then absorbed into the bloodstream. An infant doesn’t have enough intestinal microflora (good germs) to prevent this from happening. The spores grow and absorb into the bloodstream causing various symptoms including constipation, lethargy and paralysis. There are minimal to no long term side affects if treated. There is a less than 1% fatality rate due usually to respiratory paralysis.

Seek medical attention for your infant right away if your infant has ingested honey.

Information obtained from the CDC, the Mayo Clinic and Wikipedia.

Adults are actually more at risk from improper canning and fermenting foods. Be careful when canning and fermenting. If a food has gone bad, throw out the entire container it’s in. Tie the garbage bag, take the bag out, wash your hands and anything that touched the container and food.

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