Microbial contamination found in orange juice squeezed in bars and restaurants

Microbial contamination was found in orange juice squeezed in bars and restaurants. Credit: SINC

Scientists from the University of Valencia in Spain have analysed fresh orange juice squeezed by machines in catering establishments. They have confirmed that 43% of samples exceeded the acceptable enterobacteriaceae levels laid down by legislation. The researchers recommend that oranges are handled correctly, that juicers are washed properly and that the orange juice is served immediately rather than being stored in metal jugs.

Around 40% of the fresh orange juice consumed in Spain is squeezed in bars and restaurants. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Valencia (UV) though, poor handling of the oranges and insufficient cleaning of the juicer equipment stimulates .

The team collected 190 batches of squeezed orange juice from different catering locations and analysed their microbiological content on the same day. The results reveal that 43% of the samples exceeded the enterobacteriaceae levels deemed acceptable by food regulations in Spain and Europe. Furthermore, 12% of samples exceeded mesophilic aerobic microorganism levels.

According to the data published in the Food Control Journal, the presence of and the Salmonella species was found in 1% and 0.5% of samples respectively.

Isabel Sospedra, one of the authors of the study warns that "generally a percentage of oranges juice is consumed immediately after squeezing but, as in many cases, it is kept unprotected in stainless steel jugs."

In fact, the scientists have found that some juices that were kept in metal jugs presented "unacceptable" levels of enterobacteriaceae in 81% of cases and in 13% of cases with regards to mesophilic . However, when the freshly squeezed juice is served in a glass, these percentages fall to 22% and 2% respectively.

As the researcher adds, "it must also be borne in mind that juicers and juicing machines have a large surface area and lots of holes and . This promotes microbial contamination, which is picked up by the juice as it is being prepared."

The conclusion is clear. To ensure consumer health, the experts recommend that juicers are cleaned and disinfected properly. The same goes for the jugs in which the juice is stored although its consumption is better as and when it is squeezed.

Orange juice consumption is common in the catering industry due to its taste and nutritional value. This drink is known for its high content of vitamin C, carotenoids, phenolic compounds and other antioxidant substances.

In 2009, Spaniards drank 138 million litres of (according to data provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs), 40% of which was freshly squeezed and consumed in catering establishments.

More information: I. Sospedra, J. Rubert, J.M. Soriano, J. Mañes. "Incidence of microorganisms from fresh orange juice processed by squeezing machines". Food Control 23 (1): 282-285, 2012

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Isaacsname
Dec 14, 2011
Huh,...that must be exclusive to Spain, in 20 years working in kitchens I've never seen anybody store juice in uncovered metal containers. Granted many commercial kitchens could stand to be much cleaner...
ClickHere
Dec 15, 2011
So why aren't thousands of people getting sick from drinking freshly squeezed orange juice in Spain?

Isaacsname
Dec 17, 2011
Getting " sick " from eating out actually in most cases is an upset stomach and the " runs ", or just slight discomfort and cramps, most people are unawares of this.

No different than drinking the well water from 3 miles down the road from you and getting " sick " with the runs because there were some microbes living in their water that wasn't in yours. In the olden days it was called " Farmer's sickness ".

Severe food poisoning is completely different. What they did in this study is bogus,imo, you could go into any kitchen on the planet and find microbes living on every surface available. Especially in the states...
Cave_Man
Dec 18, 2011
No kidding Issacm and alot of people here take microbes as a digestive aide, probably not salamonella but microbes are everywhere and they need to be there, if we get rid of them now then in 25 years we will be so vulnerable to them we will be in a much worse position.

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