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November 16, 1999

FDA Issues Nationawide Warning on Sun Orchard Unpasteurized Orange Juice

Washinton, DC (SafetyAlerts) - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued a nationwide warning to consumers against drinking unpasteurized orange juice under a variety of brand names manufactured by Sun Orchard, Inc. of Tempe, Arizona because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Long term complications can include severe arthritis.

Although the company has already issued a warning and undertaken a recall of some of the affected product, FDA is taking action because more lots of contaminated product are being reported by the firm.

The recalled unpasteurized orange juice was distributed to restaurants and other food service establishments in California, Washington, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona.  According to the report from the FDA the product was also distributed to British Colombia, Canada and to one retail store, Zupan Grocery, in Portland, Oregon.

The product is sold in clear gallon, quart, pint and 1/2 pint plastic containers marked with the following:

9306 "Enjoy by" 11/18/99
9307 "Enjoy by" 11/19/99
9309 "Enjoy by" 11/21/99
9309 "Enjoy by" 11/22/99
9309 "Enjoy by" 11/23/99.

The following labels are involved: Sun Orchard, Sysco, Aloha, and Zupan. Unlabeled 1/2 pint containers were sold to Epicurean Provisions, Tempe, Arizona for the Enchantment Resort. Consumers should inquire about the source of any unpasteurized orange juice they may be served at a restaurant or other dining facility.

To date no illnesses have been reported in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the company revealed the presence of Salmonella in a holding tank that had been used to process the orange juice. The FDA has not identified the source of the contamination.

Production of the unpasteurized product has been suspended. FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem. To date, no definitive conclusions have been reached about the possible source of this problem.

Consumers who have purchased unpasteurized orange juice with the Zupan label are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-505-8423.

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.