Dr. Larry Beuchat of Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia led a presentation as part of a large symposium organized at a American Society for Microbiology meeting to examine the issue of foodborne diseases from non-potentially hazardous foods.
The sudden appearance of unpasteurized orange juice as a vehicle for Salmonella could be due to a variety of reasons including a greater amount of orange juice consumed and more importation of orange products from countries that might not have sanitary guidelines or regulations as strict as ours. It could also be due to better surveillance by public health officials and more sensitive detection methods.
"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," says Beuchat.
Beuchat notes that all outbreaks have been associated with unpasteurized orange juice. Anyone concerned should look for pasteurized orange juice. Most major grocery store brands are already pasteurized.