The discovery of potential Salmonella Typhimurium contamination in an orange juice product has compounded worries over falling juice sales in the US.
The FDA has warned consumers against drinking certain unpasteurized orange juice products distributed under a variety of brand names by Florida-based Orchid Island Juice Company because of potential Salmonella Typhimurium contamination.
Dr Robert Brackett, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition reminds consumers that "It is important to note, however, that the vast majority of orange juice sold in stores is pasteurized and safe to drink."
The FDA says that there have been 15 reported cases to date of a matching strain of illness directly linked to a history of consumption of Orchid Island Juice from mid-May to June in Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts.
In addition, at least 16 other states have reported cases of Salmonella Typhimurium infection that match this specific strain. Further investigations are underway to determine if these infections are also related to these products or not.
The products do not bear a warning label that the juice is unpasteurized. Such warning labels do appear on many unpasteurized juice products, so consumers should not assume these products are safe to consume simply because they do not bear the "unpasteurized" warning label.