FDA to make juices safer from E. coli
August 26, 1997
Web posted at: 3:33 p.m. EDT (1933 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) will announce new measures designed to make all fresh
fruit and vegetable juices safer, CNN learned Tuesday.
Last fall, one child died and more than 60 people in the
Western United States and Canada became sick after drinking
unpasteurized Odwalla apple juice that was contaminated with
the E. coli bacteria.
An FDA source said the agency would ask fresh apple juice
producers whose products are not pasteurized to put warning
labels on their products.
The labels would tell consumers, in time for this fall's
apple cider season, that the product has not been pasteurized
and may contain some microorganisms capable of producing
Pasteurizing juice kills bacteria, including E. coli.
E. coli can cause abdominal cramps followed by watery
diarrhea that often becomes bloody. Most individuals recover
within a short period of time. However, a small percentage of
people develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic
The FDA says people particularly at risk from the potential
dangers of unpasteurized fresh juice are children, the
elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
The source said the FDA would also ask apple juice producers
to start developing the so-called HACCP Plans.
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.
The idea is to identify places in processing where things can
go wrong and then put measures in place to try to prevent
problems before they occur.
These are considered voluntary measures proposed by the FDA
until the agency develops more formal regulations.
It doesn't appear that the FDA will actually require juice to
be pasteurized, but the agency does want fresh juice makers
to take other food safety precautions to help prevent
Correspondent Eugenia Halsey contributed to this report.