For Immediate Release
September 26, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Consumers Cautioned About Unpasteurized Juices

The Departments of Health and Environment and Agriculture are advising parents and caregivers that children should not be served unpasteurized apple juice or other unpasteurized products, such as unpasteurized cider, fruit juices or raw milk.

The elderly and people with weakened immune systems also are advised against consuming unpasteurized products.

Unpasteurized products can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as salmonella or e. coli, which can cause illness and even death in vulnerable individuals, such as children, especially those under age 6.

Most juices sold in Kansas are safe. Many have been pasteurized, or treated with heat or ultraviolet light, to kill harmful bacteria. This includes most juices sold in refrigerated display cases, concentrated juice and juice from concentrate, and shelf-stable products packaged in cans, bottles and juice boxes, which can be found unrefrigerated on grocery store shelves.

Unpasteurized juice products can be found at some farmers’ markets, orchards and grocery stores. While the risk of becoming seriously ill from consuming unpasteurized juice products is generally low for healthy adults, the possible danger to vulnerable groups is much greater.

Symptoms of a foodborne illness can include stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and bloody diarrhea, which can occur within two to 10 days of consuming contaminated food. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should contact his or her doctor immediately.