In 2006, four cases of botulism were linked to Bolthouse Farms carrot juice. One victim of the outbreak, a Florida woman, suffered from paralysis. The three other victims were all sickened in Georgia. Below is the FDA announcement.

FDA Warning from September of 2006

In response to a fourth case of botulism being linked to Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, California brand carrot juice, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, 450 ml and 1 liter plastic bottles, with “BEST IF USED BY” dates of NOV 11 2006 or earlier. Consumers should discard Bolthouse Farms carrot juice. FDA is also reiterating its advice to consumers to keep carrot juice — including pasteurized carrot juice — refrigerated.

The fourth case involves an adult female in Florida who is currently suffering from paralysis. To date, one link between the illness and the consumers appears to be that the juice they drank was not properly refrigerated once it was in the home, which allowed the Clostridium botulinum spores to grow and produce toxin. FDA is investigating other possible links.

Symptoms of botulism can include: double-vision, droopy eyelids, altered voice, trouble with speaking or swallowing, and paralysis on both sides of the body that progresses from the neck down, possibly followed by difficulty in breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Consumers should look for the words “Keep Refrigerated” on juice labels so they know which products must be kept refrigerated. FDA is looking into whether industry’s current juice labels provide clear refrigeration instructions.

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