OTTAWA, Oct. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - With the fall harvest season here, Health Canada is reminding parents and caregivers that young children should not be served unpasteurized fruit juice and cider. Health Canada is also advising pregnant women, older adults and people with a weakened immune system against consuming unpasteurized products.
Unpasteurized products can be contaminated with harmful viruses, parasites or bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli. They can make vulnerable individuals such as children, especially those under the age of five, very ill, and can even lead to death.
It must be noted that the vast majority of juice sold in Canada is safe as it has been pasteurized (treated with heat or ultraviolet light) to kill harmful microorganisms. This includes most of the juice sold in refrigerated display cases, juice from concentrate, and all shelf-stable products that are 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, local orchards, cider mills, roadside stands and juice bars. While the risk of becoming seriously ill by consuming unpasteurized juice products is generally low for most adults, the possible danger to vulnerable groups is much greater. This becomes even more of a concern during the harvest season because schools often take students to orchards as part of class field trips.
First symptoms of a food-borne illness can include stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and diarrhea and can occur within two to 10 days of consuming contaminated food. People who experience any of these symptoms should contact their doctors immediately.
More information about unpasteurized fruit juice and cider is available from:
- Unpasteurized Juice and Cider
- Pamphlet: Unpasteurized Fruit Juices and Cider - Know What You Are Drinking
- It's Your Heath: Unpasteurized Juice and Cider
Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education
Également disponible en français
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information: