Introduction

Historically, citrus juices and apple juice or cider were not considered to be beverages associated with a high risk for causing foodborne illness. These products were not typically thought of as being exposed to pathogens that were animal derived, such as salmonella. Secondly, the pH and organic acid content of these foods was presumed to be too adverse for the survival or growth of bacterial foodborne pathogens. Nonetheless, incidents of foodborne illness associated with citrus juice and apple cider occurred as far back as 1922 [1].

Documented evidence of pathogen survival in juice has also existed for some time, along with proposed mechanisms for acid resistance [2-12]. Therefore, survival of foodborne pathogens, and the occurrence of serious foodborne illness outbreaks, including fatalities, have led to new regulation requiring the implementation of hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) programs by juice manufacturers [13]. The regulation requires implementation of a process capable of reducing the pertinent pathogen by 100,000-fold (5 log units).

This chapter briefly describes production of citrus and apple juices, their physical characteristics, and typical microflora. The emphasis is on pathogens that have been associated with fresh juice and on recent regulations related to the prevention of foodborne illness outbreaks. Sources of contamination and intervention methods are also discussed.

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