Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Friday, Sept. 16, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Public Health Division Warns Residents About the Danger of Unpasteurized Cider
ANDOVER – As residents begin to gear up for fall, the Andover Public Health Division is reminding the community to be cautious of unpasteurized juices, especially cider.
Most juice sold in the United States is pasteurized, which means that it is heated to a point that slows microbial growth and then cooled quickly to a safe temperature. This increases shelf life and kills harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.
While most people’s immune systems can fight off foodborne illness, infants, young children, pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk of becoming ill from drinking unpasteurized juices.
“Foodborne illnesses caused by unpasteurized milk and juices are completely preventable,” said Andover Health Director Thomas Carbone. “Some people question why some bacteria in milk or juice is such a big deal, but science has proven that the benefits of pasteurization far outweigh any perceived shortfalls.”
Carbone recommends that residents follow several safety tips provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
When purchasing juice:
- Look for the warning label to avoid purchasing untreated juices. You can find pasteurized or otherwise treated products in your grocers’ refrigerated sections, frozen food cases, or in non-refrigerated containers, such as juice boxes, bottles, or cans. Untreated juice is most likely to be sold in the refrigerated section of a grocery store.
- Ask if you are unsure if a juice product is treated, especially for juices sold in refrigerated cases in grocery or health food stores, cider mills, or farmers’ markets. Also, don’t hesitate to ask if the labeling is unclear or if the juice or cider is sold by the glass.
When preparing juice at home:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after preparation.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables. Throw away any produce that looks rotten.
- Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before cutting or cooking, including produce grown at home or bought from a grocery store or farmers’ market. Cleaning fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash is not recommended.
- Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush. Even if you plan to peel the produce before juicing it, wash it first so dirt and bacteria are not transferred from the surface when peeling or cutting into it.
- After washing, dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present on the surface
Know the symptoms of foodborne Illness:
Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within one to three days of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to six weeks later. Although most people will recover from a foodborne illness within a short period of time, some can develop chronic, severe, or even life-threatening health problems.
Foodborne illness can sometimes be confused with other illnesses that have similar symptoms. The symptoms of foodborne illness can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body ache.
If you think that you or a family member has a foodborne illness, contact your healthcare provider immediately and report your illness to your local health department.