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  1. #1
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    Default Pasteurization of Honey

    I have to emphasize the need for pasteurization of honey.
    As bee "experts" we need to be mindful of the facts.
    Fact is, if infant humans are given unpasturized honey, they can, and sometimes do, contract a form of botulism that can kill them. My wife is an MD and has seen this happen on several occasions.
    It is quite preventable.
    Many beeks have asekd why you should pasteurize. This is the answer.
    I think we have a responsibility to pasturize and/or educate the general public about this fact.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Default

    use mite away 2 in the fall.
    i take it most yall is city folks but how you no where your bees is goin if you say there aint no chemicals in your hive. i never understood bout organic honey either unless you in the middle of a 750 acre tract. bees is goin where they wanna go. there alot of thangs organic aint good for you.

    as far as wild bees cant say we really see em like we use to that why we started back with bees. the day of takein a package an a hive body to the field an exspectin a return on your investment is gone because the lack there of.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: To infant botulism

    Sorry, JonL, can't agree with you. The health benefits of natural honey by far out weigh the risk, FOR ME. Parents should be made aware that infants (one and under) are at risk for honey botulism, and I would choose not to feed any honey to such a young child (pastr. or not), but that's my choice. I have/had Jersey milk cows all of my married life (31 years now), raised 9 children on nonpastr. milk. Did have the cows tested every year when brus. was a problem in our area, but to me the health benefit out weighs the risk. Same with vaccination for children. I chose not to, and all my children are healthy, but can't say that for several of my friends who have had reactions to this monkey blood, and one whose 2 year old died from the reation.

    It is the parents responsibility what a child eat. Label your honey natural and sell it as such. If you want pastr. dead honey, go to Wal Mart and buy your mixture of Chinese, Brazilian, Argentinian, African, and God only knows from where else. China puts all kinds of crap in our food, as we are finding out, but go ahead by that pastr. Chinese honey.

    Sorry, but what you feed your child and at what age is not my responsibility. Thousands died in auto accidents every year, lot more than from infant botulism, maybe you should quit driving a car.

    Danny

  4. #4
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    Default Pasteurization

    Danny,
    You are more than welcome to market any way you please.
    You can also consume anything you please.
    You can vaccinate or not, your choice.
    That is my point, as an INFORMED adult that is YOUR choice.
    My statement was to bring awareness to those who did not know about the infant consumption problem.
    We KNOW what the risks are. Many people have no idea at all and may take risks unaware.
    If we as knowledgeable people do nothing other than sell or give a product to someone who is ignorant, who is at fault if an illness results?
    Personally, I do let people know about the concern. My policy is to let people know that it may not be safe to give to kids under 18 months old, period, regardless of what their grandmother did.
    BTW, I did get vaccinated this year for the flu....I also sat with a neighbor who nearly died of it. He was not vaccinated.
    Who benifitted by their descision then?

  5. #5
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    Default

    I second pretty much everything DRUR said in his post regarding infants and honey.
    Why on earth should we destroy our pure honey so that people can feed it to their infants.
    How many people even want to feed their babies honey?
    I raised 6 children and nobody is crying over the fact that they didn't get to have honey when they were babies.
    The day we have to pasturize honey is my last day as a beekeeper.
    As far as making botulsim preventable, I agree you can, don't give your babies honey, thats how you prevent it.
    It is absolutely not a beekeeper's responsibilty to protect other people's kids, its their parent's responsiblity.
    Its widely known about the alleged botulism issue with honey and its on every jar of honey sold, that is enough on the honey industry's part, the parents need parent.

  6. #6
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    Default Reply to JonL

    JonL:
    I understood, I think what you said which was

    " I have to emphasize the need for pasteurization of honey.
    As bee "experts" we need to be mindful of the facts.
    Fact is, if infant humans are given unpasturized honey, they can, and sometimes do, contract a form of botulism that can kill them. My wife is an MD and has seen this happen on several occasions.
    It is quite preventable.
    Many beeks have asekd why you should pasteurize. This is the answer.
    I think we have a responsibility to pasturize and/or educate the general public about this fact."

    I disagree with you. You were trying to support your point "the need for pasteurization of honey" by the facts the your wife was an MD and had encountered honey botulism in children. My point was that just because infant botulism from honey occurs "on occasion" does not support the "need" for pasueurization of honey". Nor is it my responsibility to do so, nor to educate the public. My point is that automobiles are more dangerous, to children, but we don't put a warning on automobiles that children should not ride in automobiles. More children die each year from vaccinations than from infant honey botulism, but I bet your wife doesn't warn parents that their child could die from the vaccinations; and yes statistics will show that people even die from flu vaccinations. We are not producing a hazzardous product, not even for children, but can an infant get botulism from honey, YES, some infants under 1 year old can and do. Some children choke to death from eating, so does this mean we prevent them from eating. Your argument does not support the so called "Facts" of "the need for pastuerasztion of honey". THAT'S MY OPINION.

    But this is given in Love but in disagreement. Isn't it great to be where we can disagree and I hope no law is passed requiring the pastr. of honey.

    Danny

  7. #7
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    Default Thanks for the advice, but...

    I guess I have to step in here and ask: 'who did not know that this possibility existed?' I've known it all my adult life and seriously don't know any bee keeper who is unaware of the risk for infants. Every one of our containers has the warning, every customer is warned during a farmer's market transaction and most every parent I know of has been informed by their pediatrician or someone in the know to not feed infants honey. That said, a nephew who was experiencing some health problems early on, had his parents advised by their doctor to FEED the baby some honey to help his health. It's no one's business (HIPPA laws) what was wrong with the little goober, but his doctor was willing to forgo the generally known warning.

    My honey is not nor will ever be pasteurized. I don't even pasteurize honey when making mead nor any other use of it. You can do as you feel necessary with yours and I will support your freedom to do so.

  8. #8
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    Default Warning!

    Quote Originally Posted by JonL View Post
    I have to emphasize the need for pasteurization of honey.
    As bee "experts" we need to be mindful of the facts.
    Fact is, if infant humans are given unpasturized honey, they can, and sometimes do, contract a form of botulism that can kill them. My wife is an MD and has seen this happen on several occasions.
    It is quite preventable.
    Many beeks have asekd why you should pasteurize. This is the answer.
    I think we have a responsibility to pasturize and/or educate the general public about this fact.
    This is misleading and potentially dangerous information giving a false sense of security.

    Pasteurization will not destroy botulism spores. Nor will it reduce the number of spores. Pasteurized honey is not any safer to feed to infants than unpasturized honey.

    Children less than 14 months old are susceptible to infant botulism.
    If an infant becomes constipated and has botulism spores in the intestines, the conditions are ideal for botulism to grow and produce toxins.
    Raw agricultural products of any kind should not be fed to infants.

  9. #9
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    Default

    This is just the conspiracy theorist coming out in me but I do find it interesting that of the 5 posts (as of this writing) you've made already, 3 of them were about pasteurization in random threads. (these posts were moved into this thread from another).

    Okay, off of conspiracy nut rant.

    I would have to agree that pasteurizing is not the necessity and that simply not feeding an infant honey is the solution. My wife is 6 months pregnant and her doctor already mentioned that the baby should not be fed honey. She said that its something she tells every expecting parent not just because I'm a beek.

    The damaging effects that pasteurizing does to the honey itself negates any gains you MIGHT get from doing it. And even then, as mentioned, it does not even stop the problem.

    Doug
    Last edited by daknoodle; 05-27-2009 at 06:41 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Every one of our jars of honey for sale has a warning label for infants and raw honey.
    I will not pasturize my honey thank you

  11. #11
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    Default

    I also have the warning labels on the back of my jars. That info is common knowledge to anyone that's ever had kids-the pediatricians will tell you in advance of the birth and its in every child rearing book there is.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Never have....never will.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  13. #13
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    Default

    Infant Botulism is an orphan ("rare") disease that affects infants primarily between one and 52 weeks of age. First recognized in 1976, infant botulism occurs globally and is the most common form of human botulism in the United States.

    Infant botulism is a novel form of human botulism in which ingested spores of Clostridium botulinum colonize and grow in the infant's large intestine and produce botulinum neurotoxin in it. The action of the toxin in the body produces constipation, weakness (notably of gag, cry, suck and swallow), loss of muscle tone, and ultimately, flaccid ("limp") paralysis. Affected infants have difficulty feeding and often, breathing. However, in the absence of complications, patients recover completely from the disease.

    http://infantbotulism.org/


    The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the current mortality rate is 5% (type B) to 10% (type A). Other sources report that, in the U.S., the overall mortality rate is about 7.5%, but the mortality rate among adults over 60 is 30%. The mortality rate for wound botulism is about 10%. The infant botulism mortality rate is about 1.3%.

    Epidemiology
    An average of 110 cases of botulism are reported each year in the United States. Of these, approximately, 72% are infant botulism, and 3% are wound botulism. Outbreaks of foodborne botulism involving two or more persons occur most years and are usually caused by the consumption of home-canned foods. The number of cases of foodborne and infant botulism has changed little in recent years, but wound botulism has increased because of the use of black tar heroin, especially in California.[11]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism
    Now, if my math is correct, we see 110 cases of botulism per year in the US, about 80 are infant botulism, and about 1 death per year results from it. Of those 80 cases, it's estimated that, at most, 16 are likely caused by honey that contains infant botulism spores. I'm probably not going to try and chase down how many infant deaths are caused by honey related botulism, as the number is so small that it is statistically insignificant and cannot reasonably be used as a rationale for pasturizing or not pasturizing honey.

    In reading a half-dozen authoritative articles on infant botulism, none of them mentioned the need to pasturize honey, nor did they warn about pasturized vs. non-pasturized honey. They simply state that one should not feed honey to infants.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Pasteurization is a process intended to kill microorganisms.

    Is there someone actually pasteurizing honey? I don't know anyone doing it. I know people who heat it. People heat it to filter it better, to keep it from crystallizing, but not for the purpose of killing microorganisms. Since it is already an antimicrobial and is, indeed, in it's raw form used to treat wounds and infections, it would be superfluous at best to attempt to kill microorganisms in it. The issue of botulism spores not being killed by the heat has already been pointed out.

    I never heat my honey. It destroys the enzymes and the flavor AND it's natural antimicrobial action and accomplishes nothing in the way of protecting the consumer.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
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    Default Many thanks to GaSteve for this info posted on other Thread

    The following information was aqquired from the site listed at the top. I pasted the whole article here for anyone wanting to read it. There is not even substantial evidence that honey causes infant botulism.

    Danny

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AA142

    Infant Botulism and Honey1
    Malcolm T. Sanford2
    Medical research has led doctors to conclude that one cause of so-called "crib death" or "sudden infant death syndrome" may in fact be due to infant botulism (food poisoning). A number of public health officials now believe there may be many unrecognized cases of this disease each year, and honey has been implicated as a cause in a few. Symptoms vary from mild to severe, but there have been no cases found in children over 26 weeks old. The Infectious Disease Section and Microbial Diseases Laboratory of the California Department of Health has provided evidence that botulism spores in the infant intestinal tract may produce the growing stage of the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum . This in turn manufactures a highly toxic poison. So far, this research indicates no reason why the disease is produced only in infants under seven months old.
    Botulism spores are found everywhere in nature. They are not harmful themselves, but in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions), the spores germinate and the resultant bacteria produce a powerful poison. This is the reason all canned vegetables are heated prior to packing.
    Raw agricultural crops, however, are never heated. And many foods, even if heated or processed, once exposed to the air would be susceptible to re-infestation by botulism spores. Cumulative research to date on infant botulism, therefore, suggests that there is an unknown risk factor in feeding any raw agricultural product, including honey, to infants under one year of age.
    Although honey has been blamed as a source of spores in a few infant botulism cases, some medical officials are not totally convinced about its role in the disease. Dr. Roger Feldman of the Federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that the data are not yet strong enough for the CDC to issue a warning about honey. But, he said, parents should be aware of the findings so they can make their own decisions. There may be other foods involved and honey may be no risk at all. We just don't known.
    These research findings in no way alter many published results that honey is a highly nutritious food source or that it is bactericidal. Only bacterial spores which are highly resistant to environmental stress can exist in honey and they themselves are not harmful. No other disease besides infant botulism has been linked to honey. The risk of this disease appears to be extremely small.
    The individual beekeeper can do little except be prepared to responsibly answer questions about infant botulism and honey. In all conscience he/she probably should refrain from advocating the use of honey in the feeding of infants less than one year old. This is something best left to the discretion of the parent and pediatrician. If the beekeeper is a packer or dealer in honey, he/she may profit by looking into the adequacy and his/her product liability insurance. A white paper entitled, "Honey in Relation to Infant Botulism," by E. M. Foster is available from The National Honey Board, 421 21st Avenue Num. 203, Longmont, CO 80501-1421, phone 303/776-2337.
    Footnotes
    1.
    This document is ENY128, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Reviewed May 1, 2003. Visit the EDIS Web Site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
    2.
    Malcolm T. Sanford, professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611.

    The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension service.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer, Interim Dean.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JonL View Post
    That is my point, as an INFORMED adult that is YOUR choice.
    My statement was to bring awareness to those who did not know about the infant consumption problem.
    We KNOW what the risks are. Many people have no idea at all and may take risks unaware.
    If we as knowledgeable people do nothing other than sell or give a product to someone who is ignorant, who is at fault if an illness results?
    Personally, I do let people know about the concern. My policy is to let people know that it may not be safe to give to kids under 18 months old, period, regardless of what their grandmother did.
    BTW, I did get vaccinated this year for the flu....I also sat with a neighbor who nearly died of it. He was not vaccinated.
    Who benifitted by their descision then?
    The information on botulism from honey in infants has been well documented in some very mainstream sources for 20 years. It is up to parents to make the appropriate dietary choices for their children and avoid giving them foodstuffs that hold potential harm for them.

    As the heat of pasteurization is insufficient to kill the organism that causes botulism, and the same heat destroys many of the benefits that raw honey provides, it makes no sense to pasteurize honey and destroy the benefits of its use for the rest of us.

  17. #17
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    Default What about di-hydrogen oxide?

    A guy I worked with 10 years ago had a small child die from breathing di-hydrogen oxide. My cousin's 4 or 5 year old kid died from breathing di-hydrogen oxide. I had a neighbor die from it too.

    I've never even heard of anyone knowing someone who knew someone who's kid got infant botulism from honey, let alone have it hit close to home on a personal level.

    Something like 800-900 US children die each year from breathing di-hydrogen oxide. Another 2500-3000 US kids have near fatalities from breathing di-hydrogen oxide. It's nasty stuff.

    Let's put this in perspective when we look at deaths per year.
    43,200 motor vehicle crashes, but we still drive cars
    14,900 deaths from falls, but we don't walk around wearing body armor
    4000 deaths from breathing di-hydrogen oxide, but we still play in it
    3700 deaths from fires and burns, and lighters are at every gas station
    1500 firearms deaths, and the Constitution says we get to have guns

    1 infant death from infant botulism (per Barry Digman's research)

    More lives would be saved by bringing back Prohibition than pasteurizing honey - fewer drunk drivers causing fatal car crashes.

    And do we even need to discuss the lives we could save by limiting exposure to di-hydrogen oxide?

    The good news is - a spoonful of buckwheat honey is supposed to be more effective than children's cough syrup. Give your babies honey.

  18. #18
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    Default

    Whoa nellie, that di-hydrogen oxide is some nasty stuff. I say the government create a czar position to deal with this crisis. Too much of this could kill millions! How do I keep my kids away from that stuff? Can you wash it off...? Wait, di (2) hydrogen.., oxide... Oh, H2O... water. Indeed that's deadlier that honey.

    We're all going die of something, use some common sense and it may be later that sooner. You can make idiot resistant but not idiot proof. Even an anvil can be broken. Pasturizing honey?, absolutely no freakin' way. I put the infant warning label on all of my bottles as a CYA, but it's raw and labeled as such. The warmest my honey gets is 100 degrees from the warming box I made.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  19. #19
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    Default

    I am wondering why someone would join a forum and then proceed to work the pasturization of honey into 3 out of the 5 posts he has made.
    4 threads and 3 of them relate to your cause, the other being a political thread.
    It seems there will be discussion and out of nowhere you throw in this pasturization issue you apparently feel is your mission in life.
    Its almost like spamming in my opinion and it doesn't seem like you are finding any support for it.
    I am so sick of people taking good for you food and messing with it until it holds no health benefits.
    I am also sick of parents who need others to regulate their food choices for their children.
    The comment that its our responsibility to modify our product in order to protect children of parents who obvious live under a rock really irks me.
    Even if they have never heard about infant botulism do they not read the labels on the jars of food they purchase for their family's consumption?
    To try and give your argument merit by mentioning that your wife is an md also holds no water for me.
    You can also get sick from undercooked meat, say pork or chicken, what do you propose to do about that?
    Maybe it should ALL be precooked before it gets to the consumer so no one has to be responsible for handling raw meat and possible contaminating their kitchen counter tops with salmonella or under cooking it and feeding it to their children.
    Infants account for only a percentage of our population as does people with food allergies, lets say nuts for instance.
    Should we abolish everything that has nuts in it because someone may not read a label that says this contains nuts and proceed to eat something they should not?
    Parents are responsible for every single thing that goes into their baby's mouth and I take issue that you state (repeatedly in most every post you make) it should be my responsibility in any way, shape or form.

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JonL View Post
    I have to emphasize the need for pasteurization of honey.
    As bee "experts" we need to be mindful of the facts.
    Fact is, if infant humans are given unpasturized honey, they can, and sometimes do, contract a form of botulism that can kill them. My wife is an MD and has seen this happen on several occasions.
    It is quite preventable.
    Many beeks have asekd why you should pasteurize. This is the answer.
    I think we have a responsibility to pasturize and/or educate the general public about this fact.
    How do you pasteurize honey?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


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