Gourmet juice makers urged the government Monday not to force them to pasteurize their products as a way to make fresh fruit juices safer.
But federal doctors said outbreaks like the one from E. coli-tainted apple juice that left one child dead and sickened 66 other people this fall are a growing worry.
“Current production practices do not guarantee the safety of apple cider, apple juice and orange juice,” Dr. Patricia Griffin of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at the start of a two-day hearing on fresh fruit juice safety.
People are more at risk from driving to buy juice than from drinking it, countered Frank Martinelli of Florida’s Orchid Island Juice Co.
Added a FreshJuice Co. representative: “We don’t ban raw oysters and steak tartar, although the risks are much higher. Nor do we mandate that they be cooked, because it changes the flavor.”
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