Oct. 4, 2006 — Drinking Bolthouse Farms carrot juice could result in a case of botulism for consumers, Health Commissioner Darlene Carty said in a news release issued Wednesday.
She said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers not to drink the Bolthouse Farms carrot juice that comes in 450 ml and 1 liter plastic bottles with a "Best if Used By" date of Nov. 11 or earlier.
"Consumers should discard this product until further notice," Carty said.
James Clark, manager at the Fruit Bowl on St. Thomas, said this was the first he heard of the botulism issue, adding, "Our vendor has not said anything."
Clark said the store does carry Bolthouse Farms products but was not sure if it currently had carrot juice in stock.
Consumer and Licensing Affairs Commissioner Andrew Rutnik said he will send his staff out tomorrow to check shelves at all stores.
"We'll be monitoring," he said.
The link between the carrot juice and the cases of botulism appears to have occurred when consumers did not properly refrigerate the product once they took it home.
Carty said the FDA is investigating other possible links.
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
Symptoms can include double vision, droopy eyelids, altered voice, trouble speaking or swallowing, and paralysis on both sides of the body that progresses from the neck down. Breathing difficulties can follow those symptoms.
Carty said that anyone experiencing those symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
The FDA indicated that botulism poisoning is extremely rare in the United States. Four cases have been reported since Sept. 29.
The FDA indicated that refrigerator temperatures should be no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers should be set no higher than 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
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