martes, 12 de julio de 2011

Five Years Under NY's Cider Pasteurization Law

This technique is used in acidic products like apple cider.

In the fall of 2004, more than 300 people were sickened in an outbreak of E. coli in New York. This cider-related incident led the NY Apple Association to push the state Legislature to pass the country's first mandatory cider pasteurization law.

First, a bit of background on raw juices. The practice of using "drops," apples that have fallen from the tree and are harvested from the ground, had been common in cider-making before it was understood that dangerous bacteria like E. coli could survive in acidic juices. The low pH of apple and even orange juice was once assumed to protect against the presence or growth of pathogens.

These requirements for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems to identify food safety hazards and reduce pathogens did not, however, extend to all producers. The warning label remained sufficient for cider producers selling directly to customers. New York's legislation was the first and only to mandate pasteurization for all apple cider made in the state.

New York's approach is more focused on technology. Cider processors are inspected once a year by the state's Department of Agriculture and Markets, and pasteurization is required for cider sold onsite and off. After the outbreak in 2004, the New York Apple Association sought the help of food microbiologist Randy Worobo, who works at Cornell University and its Geneva Experiment Station.

What the different approaches taken by Michigan and New York mean to the cider industry is difficult to determine, given that there is discrepancy between the numbers of producers recorded by the industry associations and the state licensing agencies. The states combine cider sellers with other juice makers, so there is no way to separate out cider-specific numbers.

If there has been a decline, New York state Department of Agriculture and Markets spokeswoman Jessica Ziehm suggested that the pressure from trying to meet the 2004 federal HACCP juice guidance and the effect of the state mandate could both be responsible.


Aporte: Manuel Urrutia.

No hay comentarios.: