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E. coli Safety for Home Juice Makers
girls drinking homemade juice

E. coli Safety for Home Juice Makers

Pasteurization of Juice

Pasteurized juice is safe because it has been heated hot enough and long enough to kill bacteria.

Home juice makers have become very popular for people who enjoy fresh juice. There is a risk, however, of contamination of fresh juice with germs that can cause causes & symptoms of foodborne illness, such as E. coli.

E. coli

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. There are many strains of E. coli bacteria. Most of them are harmless; however, one particular strain, E. coli O157:H7, can cause serious illness in people, including bloody diarrhea and damage to kidneys.

Spread of E. coli When Making Juice

E. coli can spread from cattle to people through contaminated water or soil where fruits and vegetables are grown. If the foods are contaminated and are not washed before juicing, the fresh juice could have enough E. coli to cause illness.

An infected person may spread the illness to others by failure to thoroughly wash hands after using the toilet, or prior to juice preparation.

Pasteurizing Juice at Home

E. coli bacteria are not killed by freezing. They are only killed by heat, such as pasteurization. You can do this at home by bringing the fresh juice to a boil for 41 seconds cooling it, then keeping it stored in the refrigerator.

Reducing Risk without Pasteurization

If you do not want to boil your homemade juice, there are steps you can take to reduce the risks of bacterial contamination; however, these guidelines cannot be relied upon to be 100% protective against bacterial contamination.

The following steps are our recommendations for making fresh juice at home:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and warm water. Wash hands before starting and frequently during the cutting and juicing. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wash the fruit thoroughly. Really scrub the fruit. A drop of detergent in the wash water can help loosen dirt. For an even higher margin of safety, use a diluted chlorine bleach solution, because chlorine is an effective disinfectant (Use 1 tablespoon household bleach in a gallon of cool water). Rinse the fruit really well with clean water after using a detergent or chlorine wash. Also, if you wash the fruit by immersing it in water, do this in small batches and change the water frequently.
  • Wash your knives, boards, utensils, and juice- making equipment thoroughly. Use soap and warm water, then use the diluted chlorine bleach solution for another disinfecting step (Use 1 tablespoon household bleach in a gallon of cool water). Rinse well with clean water afterwards. Make sure the containers you are putting the fresh juice into are very clean.
  • It is best to use sterilized containers, as if making jams or jellies.

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