Public warned not to drink Bolthouse Farms carrot juice

The Centre for Food Safety today (October 3) warned the public not to drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, 450 ml and 1 litre plastic bottles, with "BEST IF USED BY" dates of NOV 11 2006 or earlier, following reports by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of cases of botulism possibly related to the product.

According to the FDA, one link between the illness and the consumers appeared to be that the juice they drank was not properly refrigerated, which allowed the Clostridium botulinum spores to grow and produce toxin.

A spokesman for the Centre said: "Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium commonly found in soil. Under certain conditions these bacteria can produce a toxin that if ingested can result in botulism, a disease that may cause paralysis or death. Initial symptoms include blurred vision and difficulty in swallowing and speaking."

The spokesman said the Centre will continue to monitor the situation and follow up with the US authorities for more information. Consumers are advised to check and follow the labeling instruction regarding the storage condition of juice, including keeping the products refrigerated if required.

Ends/Tuesday, October 3, 2006