The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to use the apple flavoured Baby’s Bliss gripe water because it could be contaminated with a parasite that causes intestinal infection.

The gripe water carries the code 26952V and an expiration date shown as 10/08 (for October 2008).

It is sold as a 4 oz plastic bottle inside a cardboard carton that bears the Baby’s Bliss logo and the product name Gripewater Apple Flavor.

According to FDA information the product label carries the following text:

  • Baby’s Bliss. Pediatrician Recommended Gripe Water. Apple Flavor.
  • An herbal supplement used to ease the gas and stomach discomfort often associated with colic, hiccups, and teething.
  • Ginger Extract. Fennel Extract.
  • Other ingredients: Deionized Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Fructose, Natural apple flavor, Citric acid, Bioflavonoid Extract, and Grapefruit Seed Extract.
  • Distributed by: MOM Enterprises, Inc., San Rafael, CA 94903 USA.

The FDA said consumers should throw away any bottles of the product.

The product was distributed throughout the US by MOM Enterprises Inc of San Rafael, California. The company has issued a voluntary recall from distribution chains and retail outlets. The product was also sold worldwide over the internet.

About 170,000 potentially affected items were bought between November 2006 and September 2007.

The recall and warning follows laboratory confirmed tests in August on a 6 week baby in Minnesota that proved positive for cryptosporidium, a parasite that causes intestinal infections.

The most common symptoms of infection by cryptosporidium are: watery diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, stomach pains and cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting.

They generally appear between two and ten days after the parasite enters the body and last up to two weeks.

Most healthy people recover without treatment, but the infection can be life-threatening for certain people like pregnant women, babies and children who can become seriously ill from dehydration due to diarrhea. People with weakened immune systems are also at risk.

If your baby or child has recently drunk Baby’s Bliss Gripewater, Apple Flavor and has any of these symptoms you should take them to see a doctor at once.

If your baby or child has recently drunk the product but is not showing any symptoms, you should monitor them very closely, especially for any sign that diarrhea could be developing.

According to the CDC, once a person is infected by cryptosporidium (the condition is called cryptosporidiosis), the parasite lives in the intestine and passes in the stool.

The parasite has an outer shell that helps it to survive outside the body of its host for a long time. The shell also protects it against chlorine-based disinfectants, which is why it is often found in recreational water all over the United States.

Cryptosporidium is also found in drinking water, and over the last 20 years has spread to become the most common cause of waterborne disease in humans in America, where both the parasite and the condition it causes are commonly referred to as “crypto”.

MOM Enterprises said it is offering full refunds on Apple Flavored Baby’s Bliss Gripewater.

The company and the FDA are currently investigating the cause of the contamination.

Consumers can call the FDA on 1-888-723-3366 or the company on 1-877-457-4955.

Click here for FDA.

Click here for more information on infection by cryptosporidium (CDC).

Written by: Catharine Paddock