Danger of fruit and vegetable drinks

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Safety of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice should be taken into account.
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Imaginechina

Freshly squeezed apple juice.

Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice is a regularly sought after beverage as a healthy and trendy drink in restaurants, pubs and bars. 

However, no national standards on these juices have been issued, according to a post from Shanghai Food and Drug Safety Association on its WeChat account.

Compared to traditionally processed fruit and vegetable juice, freshly made juice is not sterilized, the WeChat post said.

According to a Zhejiang Province’s local standard document for fresh beverages in 2015, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice are made on site for customers, and its materials are fresh fruit and vegetables only.

The WeChat post also shared some tips for customers to safely enjoy this kind of beverage.

First, raw materials need to be fresh and being processed sanitarily. 

To lower microbial contamination risks, raw materials should be washed thoroughly; processing instruments should be sanitized and sterilized; juice makers’ sanitation should be monitored.

Secondly, no overnight juice should be served. The time taken from making to serving the juice should not last for longer than two hours if it is preserved under temperature between 10 and 60 degrees.

Thirdly, the juice’s color changing does not necessarily imply spoiling. The juice’s interaction with the air can accelerate chemical reactions that produce brown-colored substances, resulting in a change in the juice’s color. 

That process, however, doesn’t affect its food safety.

The United States Food and Drug Administration’s standards require freshly squeezed juice sold by juice shops or farms to be preserved in a cooler, with a warning tag on it. The tag should say that food-borne diseases may occur in children, elderly people and those with weak immunity systems, due to a lack of sterilization of the juice.

These customers are advised to heat the juice up for sterilization, if they were to consume it.

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