Strong evidence links orange juice produced at Orchid Island Juice Co. in Fort Pierce to an outbreak of 15 cases of illness caused by a strain of salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. In addition, at least 16 other states have reported cases of salmonella that match the specific strain of the Salmonella typhimurium bacterium.
As the Palm Beach Post reported today, Orchid Island, which produces unpasteurized fresh-squeezed orange juice, issued a voluntary recall of its orange juice from stores nationwide and has asked consumers to return any juice on hand to retail stores for a full refund.
None of the illness associated with the juice has occurred in Florida, the FDA said in issuing a nationwide warning to consumers against drinking the juice distributed under the labels Nino Salvaggio’s, Westborn Market and Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice.
S. typhimurium is the most common among the 2,000 kinds of salmonella, said Christine Pearson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The strain is the same as that involved in 14 cases of salmonella-related illness associated with Cold Stone Creamery’s Cake Batter ice cream during the same time period in Minnesota, Washington, Oregon and Ohio, Pearson said.
Andrew Meadows, spokesman for the Florida Department of Citrus in Lakeland, said about 9 million gallons a year of Florida orange juice – less than 1 percent of the state’s overall juice production – is of the unpasteurized variety.
George Chartier, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Wednesday that 55 processing plants in Florida are approved for pasteurized juice production and three for unpasteurized.