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Juice Processors ask to be exempt from HACCP Regulations.

Juice processors have asked the FDA to amend a regulation meant to prevent the contamination of fruit and vegetable juices. Under certain conditions, concentrated and shelf-stable juices should be exempted from a "5-log," or 100,000-fold reduction in pathogens requirement, according to the petition by the Florida Citrus Processors Association, Florida Department of Citrus, and National Juice Products Association. The exemption would not compromise the food safety objectives of FDA's juice hazard analysis and critical control points plan, but would "lift the financial burden on processors" and save consumers money, the groups said in a Jan. 10 filing.

One major component of the juice HACCP requires processors to have a written plan, which must be verified and validated from time to time. A second major part requires processors to include in their HACCP plans control measures that will consistently produce a 5-log reduction. The processor must perform this reduction and final product packaging of all juice subject to the exemptions within a single production facility.

As currently written, the single facility requirement dictates that the HACCP plans of such processors include a 5-log pathogen reduction in addition to the 5-log reduction performed by the same processor at a different plant or by a processor other than the one from which the juice was purchased, according to the juice processors.

If processors are required to repasteurize shelf-stable and concentrated juices as is currently required by the single facility requirement, the process would create a "severe negative impact on the flavor." the groups said. The single facility requirement will require processors to acquire equipment they do not currently possess, at capital costs far exceeding those estimated by FDA, to repasteurize incoming products, they said. These added costs would be passed on to consumers, the groups said.
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Comment:Juice Processors ask to be exempt from HACCP Regulations.
Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 11, 2002
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