15/02/19: The potential for botulism prompts the company to recall ‘natural’ baby and toddler foods

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s recall notice does not say how or when its inspectors determined the Vivi & Tom brand baby foods could have been produced or packaged in such a way as to permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. 

No illnesses had been confirmed in relation to the recalled baby foods as of the posting of the recall notice on Feb. 14. Botulism is dangerous for all ages, but particularly for infants and young children. In all ages, it can suddenly paralyze muscles, including those used to breathe. 

The recall notice does not include any product photos. The Vivi & Tom website does not have any photos of product packaging. On the website, most of the products are sold in 4-ounce sizes ranging from $6 to $8 per 4 ounces.

“Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased,” according to the recall notice posted by the Canadian government.

“Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.” 

Specific products subject to the recall are listed below. Vivi & Tom distributes baby food to retailers in Ontario. The company also has drop-off sites in three cities in the province — Exeter, London and Cambridge. The recall includes all of the products listed below that were sold from Nov. 22, 2018, through Feb. 14, 2019.  

Identified as “LaLa and Taryn” on the Vivi & Tom website, the two mothers market their products as “farm to table baby foods” that are prepared fresh weekly with “local, seasonal and organic meat and produce.” When organic foods are not available, the company substitutes locally sourced non-organic ingredients, according to the website.

As of early today, the Vivi & Tom website did not have any recall information. Some of the 13 products available through the website are included in the recall. Some of the products on the recall notice are not listed on the website.

Consumers with questions can contact the company by email at viviandtombabyfood@gmail.com or by phone at 226-973-9390 or 519-998-0075. The company website does not provide an address in its contact information.

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Vivi & Tom Beef Meatballs N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Broccoli, Potato & Basil Purée N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Beef & Squash Purée N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Salmon & Mango Purée N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Chicken & Parsnip Purée N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Liver & Pear Purée N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Sweet Potato Applesauce N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Fish Cakes N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Chicken Meatballs N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Carrot, Peach & Apricot Purée N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None
Vivi & Tom Squash Bites N/A All product sold from November 22, 2018, to February 14, 2019, inclusive. None

Additional information for consumers
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled product and developed signs of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention. Untreated, botulism can paralyze the muscles needed for breathing, resulting in sudden death.

In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can begin as soon as 6 hours after or up to 10 days later.

The symptoms of botulism may include some or all of the following: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, a thick-feeling tongue, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. People with botulism may not show all of these symptoms at once.

These symptoms all result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. If untreated, the disease may progress and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of certain muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and the body from the neck to the pelvis area.

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