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Danger Can Lurk in Morning O.J.

In rare instances, that morning glass of orange juice can be a source of foodborne illness, public health officials noted at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Orlando, Florida.

Orange juice is one of the foods that — due to its acidity, moisture levels, or a combination of both — isn’t capable of supporting the growth of foodborne pathogens under proper storage conditions and is defined as non-potentially hazardous food.

However, these foods can still contain pathogenic organisms at sufficient levels to cause illness.

"For many years, individuals in the public health arena would not think of orange juice as a vehicle for salmonella. When epidemiologists would collect information on salmonella outbreaks, high-acid beverages like orange juice were not considered to even possibly be involved as carriers," said Dr. Larry Beuchat, of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, Athens.