Juice and Cider

Definition: The liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue. Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fresh fruits or vegetables flesh. Ciders are fermented beverages, typically made from apple juice or other fruits juices.

Food Safety: Outbreaks of illness associated with consumption of fruit juice have been a growing public health problem since the early 1990s. Serious outbreaks of foodborne illness, including Salmonella, E.coli 0157:H7, and Clostridium, have been traced to drinking fruit juice, vegetable juice, and cider that has not been treated to kill harmful bacteria. Since 1999, the FDA has required juice manufacturers to place warning information on product containers about the health risks of drinking untreated juice or cider. Only a small portion of all fruit and vegetable juices sold in supermarkets is not treated to kill harmful bacteria.

Pasteurized juice is heated to a high temperature for a short time before it is sold. By pasteurizing juice, pathogens which may be present in the liquid are killed. Most juice concentrate sold in grocery stores has been heat treated as part of the concentration process and this is equivalent to pasteurization. About 98% of all juices sold in the United States are pasteurized. Pasteurized juice can be found as frozen concentrate, displayed at room temperature, or in the refrigerated section of your supermarket. Treated juice, more commonly found in health-food stores and farm markets, has been treated to kill pathogens that may be present in the juice through a method other than pasteurization, such as UV irradiation, surface treatment of the fruit, or high pressure treatment.

Drinking fresh apple cider, especially if homemade, is a delicious way to enjoy your apples throughout the fall and winter months. However, fresh or unpasteurized apple juice or cider can cause foodborne illness from bacteria found on fallen apples or in the juice processing facility. Follow this simple guide from the University of Georgia for safe methods to making apple juice and cider.

Good Agricultural Practices: Good Agricultural Practices should be encouraged to reduce the potential for contamination of fruits used for making  juice. Fruits that have fallen on the ground or that are visibly contaminated with bird feces, animal feces, or other gross debris should not be harvested.

HACCP: Juice packaged in a retail establishment and sold exclusively and directly to its consumers does not have to be processed in conformance with an approved HACCP plan, but if packaged shall bear the phrase: “WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems” and meet the requirements of the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. For more information, see the resources listed below.

Distribution Method (Expand All | Collapse All)

You are selling your product at a farmers’ market, CSA, roadside stand, or other direct to consumer outlet


Licensing: Pre-packaged juice shall be obtained pasteurized; in a sterile shelf-stable form in a hermetically sealed container; or otherwise treated under an approved HACCP plan as specified in 21 CFR §120.24, (2003) to attain a 5-log reduction of the most resistant microorganism of public health significance. If you are producing and selling unpasteurized juice from products you have grown, you will need a Retail Food Establishment License, issued by your county health department. You may also need additional licensing and your processing facility may require inspection from your county health department. If you sell at farmers’ markets or other direct to consumer outlets in different counties, you should check with the health department in each county where you sell your product direct to consumers. Although not mandatory at this time, you may also register your processing facility with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. If you are selling unpasteurized juice using products you purchased from another Colorado producer or from a wholesaler, you will also need a Farm Product Dealers License.

Labeling: In addition to general labeling requirements, if you are selling unpasteurized juice, the label must include the following  phrase: “WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems” and meet the requirements of the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

Sales Tax Liability: General sales tax information.

Weights and Measures: If you are selling your product by weight, you must follow the Colorado weights and measures requirements.

You are selling your product to a store, restaurant, food cart, K-12 school, university, hospital, or other retail food establishment

Licensing: Pre-packaged juice shall be obtained pasteurized; in a sterile shelf-stable form in a hermetically sealed container; or otherwise treated under an approved HACCP plan as specified in 21 CFR §120.24, (2003) to attain a 5-log reduction of the most resistant microorganism of public health significance.

If you are producing and selling unpasteurized juice from products you have grown, you must first register with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) as a wholesale food manufacturing facility. Once you have registered your food manufacturing business, you may be inspected by CDPHE.  Some manufacturing processes require specific certification and/or training that must be completed before you can manufacture an acidified food or process seafood products. If you are interested in doing either of these, you should first contact the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at (303) 692-3620 for further information and visit their page on wholesale food program information and requirements.

If you are selling unpasteurized juice using products you purchased from another Colorado producer or from a wholesaler, you will also need a Farm Product Dealers License.

Labeling: In addition to general labeling requirements, if you are selling unpasteurized juice, the label must include the following  phrase: “WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems” and meet the requirements of the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

Sales Tax Liability: General sales tax information.

Weights and Measures: If you are selling your product by weight, you must follow the Colorado weights and measures requirements.

Related Links:

References:

  • Vojdani JD, Beuchat LR, Tauxe RV. February 2008. Juice-associated outbreaks of human illness in the United States, 1995 through 2005. Journal of Food Protection. 71(2):356-64.