Baby food manufacturer SMA is withdrawing batches of its Gold and White milk substitute formula because of a suspected link between the product and Britain’s first case of infant botulism in the last seven years.

A six-month-old girl whose details have not been released was suspected of suffering from the rare form of food poisoning in June, but the link with SMA Gold powder was only made last week when scientists discovered formula in the baby’s home contaminated with the same strain of bacterium the girl is carrying. Authorities stressed last night that this evidence is not enough to prove the link.

The product lines involved in the recall were all manufactured three years ago and are reaching the end of their shelf life with expiry dates between October 28, 2001 and November 28, 2001.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed yesterday that the case is likely to be a one-off, but deputy CEO Dr Jon Bell commented in a statement: “It is important that no one continues to use these particular batches of SMA Gold and White […] They should be thrown away or returned to the retailer.”

SMA has launched advertisements in national newspapers this morning to inform parents.

An SMA spokeswoman added: “Our main concern is that parents check any tins they may have left in their cupboards, and if they have these expiry dates that they not use them and contact us.”

For more information, call the SMA free phone Careline on 0800 212002 (UK) or 1 800 409 446 (Republic of Ireland).