• Prevention

    NEVER give honey or corn syrup to infants younger than 1 year old -- not even just a little taste on a pacifier.

    Prevent infant botulism by exclusively breastfeeding, if possible.

    Always throw away bulging cans or foul-smelling preserved foods. Sterilizing home-canned foods by pressure cooking at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes may prevent botulism.

    Keep foil-wrapped baked potatoes hot or in the refrigerator, not out in room temperature.


    Bartlett JG. Clostridial infections. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 319.

    Bleck TP. Clostridium botulinum (Botulism). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2005: chap 243.

    Long SS. Clostridium botulinum (Botulism). In: Long SS, Pickering LK, Prober CG. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008: chap 189.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Diagnosis and management of foodborne illnesses: a primer for physicians and other health care professionals. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2004;53(RR-4):1-33.